If you know a child in a single-parent home, that child is most likely being raised by Mom.
According to the latest U.S. Census figures from November of 2009, 84 percent of the custodial parents in the 13.7 million single-parent households in the U.S. are mothers. Only 16 percent of custodial parents are dads. Many fathers blame the court systems, which they believe favors the mothers in most cases, but one expert believes that men have more control over that paradigm than they might think.
“When it comes to deciding who gets the kids, it’s natural for judges to want to place them with the parent who is nurturing and sensitive,” said Michael Taylor, motivational speaker, life coach, and author of A New Conversation With Men (www.coachmichaeltaylor.com). “Let’s face it. In most cases, it’s difficult to cast most fathers — even the good ones — in that light. But I don’t think it’s out of reach for any man to become that person, and to exude it in his daily life.”
Taylor believes that the greatest challenge we have in our society right now is to redefine masculinity.
“Most men are tired and frustrated with their lives and are looking for something new and different,” he said. “Men want to learn to be genuinely happy with their lives but most of them do not know how to accomplish this. They are sold on the bill of goods by the past generation that men are aloof and authoritarian, and that’s part of being a man. The first thing we need to do is discard all the media and culture madness that has created the problem in the first place. I believe that every man can learn to be a great husband, a great father and a trusted friend. To get there, we need to break the bonds of a culture that has taught us all the wrong things about what it means to be masculine, and embrace a new paradigm of masculinity that empowers them to reach their full potential.”
The cornerstone for this new paradigm, according to Taylor, includes developing stronger connections to the ideas of love, compassion, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness.
“These qualities are not signs of weakness,” Taylor said. “They are actually signs of strength, and when men reject these aspects of themselves, it leads to all sorts of dysfunction and unhappiness. We’ve grown up in a culture that teaches men that marriage is a prison, and that being monogamous is somehow not manly, when in fact, the successful and happy husbands and fathers out there know that to be the opposite. If we can reverse these beliefs, I believe we will begin to see a dramatic reduction of issues like high divorce rates, high school dropouts, domestic abuse and high incarceration rates.”