Last month, new research from the Institute for Family Studies demonstrated, once again, how important fathers are, especially for boys. For example, boys growing up without their dads are only half as likely to graduate from college as their peers who live with dad at home. Strikingly, those numbers remain steady even after controlling for other factors such as race, income, and general IQ. Boys without a dad at home are also almost twice as likely to be “idle” in their late twenties, defined as neither working nor in school, and are significantly more likely to have been arrested or incarcerated by the time they turn 35. These are only a few of the data points which demonstrate that fatherlessness is one of the most pressing crises our culture is facing.
It’s a sad reality that children today are becoming innocent victims of the anger and frustration of other kids their age. The Internet and new smartphone apps have become increasingly prevalent platforms for bullies to use to abuse and harass others, and it’s no surprise, due to the anonymity of many applications, that many bullies are never identified. Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that is almost invisible to parents, as no form of physical abuse is displayed. Regardless, the effects it can have on a child’s mental health can be devastating.
In most cases, children who are not prepared to confront such behavior feel threatened and helpless by a bully’s malicious behavior, especially when they protect themselves with the anonymity of the Internet. Help your children combat cyberbullying and its dramatic effects by teaching them easy safety measures and tactics.
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With the miracle of creating new life also comes the weight of responsibility, the potential for heartbreak and the constant call to pray and surrender. The biblical tradition provides unique examples of motherhood that we would do well to follow regardless of our personal beliefs.
My prayer is that everyone reading this would feel compelled to make this Mother’s Day bright by lending a hand to a struggling mom. If we each reach beyond ourselves to help some of these in their plight, we’ll make someone’s Mother’s Day so much brighter.
From 2009-2021, the share of American high-school students who say they feel “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” rose from 26 percent to 44 percent. [This] is the highest level of teenage sadness ever recorded. [Almost] every measure of mental health is getting worse, for every teenage demographic, and it’s happening all across the country.