The following article is a guest post from John Hourihan
The family is dying in our society, because too many men are boys who have no idea how to become men. It’s not their fault; their fathers didn’t know either.
And no matter how good a job a woman does bringing up kids alone, the one thing a mother can’t teach her child by example is how to be a man.
God bless the single mothers who manage to bring up rational well-rounded children.
It is the most difficult job in the world, and that is why it is so seldom seen.
I know that with better then 50 percent of all married couples in the United States getting divorced, we see single parents bringing up children all the time now. That is not what I mean.
I mean we so seldom see rational well-rounded children coming from the situation without some help and a lot of luck.
Boys who become fathers and then immediately go back to being boys, ignore their responsibility and leave home, leaving the mother to raise the children, in my opinion, is the main reason we have such violent and dangerous children on the streets.
And since this practice has been going on for a long time, and increasing in popularity for better than 20 or 30 years, those children have now grown into dangerous and violent young adults who are perpetuating the cycle.
We wonder where they come from, these destructive children, and we too often blame the destructive behavior of the children on the mother who raised them. And even sadder, sometimes the mothers blame themselves, as if it was something they were supposed to be able to do all by themselves.
Before blaming, I think we have to remember that bringing up a child is a lot like moving a refrigerator down a flight of stairs.
Obviously that takes at least two people.
And even then it is difficult and dangerous.
Here’s how it works.
Both people edge the refrigerator to the precipice of the top stair. Then one gets under it and takes most of the weight. The one above nudges and cajoles the multi-hundred pound box to the edge, and with constant communication the two people inch one corner over the edge, then the next, and the next, and the next.
It is best to have another helper at the underside taking the weight and another manipulating the top, keeping it straight and saying things to the others like, “OK it is going over the edge now, hang on.” With the one on the top adjusting, aiming and directing, and the one on the bottom heaving all his or her muscle and effort into keeping it from getting out of control, the parents edge it carefully down the flight of stairs one step at a time – correcting direction and balancing the weight constantly.
All the people involved have to remain aware of the plight of the other, making sure not too much weight is directly on the shoulders of one human being. It is after all, just too much weight for one person to carry. Everyone has to ensure that the refrigerator is stable and balanced and that nothing gets too far out of hand.
In this way, using all your strength and cunning, you can get the refrigerator, which is fighting you all the way, to the bottom of the steps in good shape and in working order.
And bringing up a child is more difficult and more dangerous than that.
The alternative too often today is a child is born and the boy/father leaves – runs away out of fright.
The mother is left to bring the refrigerator down the stairs by herself.
In this case there is one alternative.
Edge it to the precipice of the top stair wish it luck and give it a shove, hoping it makes it to the bottom without damaging itself, destroying the home or hurting anyone with the stupidity to get in its way.
Sometimes it works, but it had better be a well-adjusted home, a damn strong refrigerator and a very lucky day.
John Hourihan, a decorated Vietnam veteran, has been a state, regional and national award winning opinion columnist for 25 years, most recently with the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport, Conn. He retired last year and lives with his wife Lin in Holland, Mass. They both write blogs. His is www.johnhourihan.wordpress.com and hers is www.lindahourihan.wordpress.com.
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