Children from homes with no fathers are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems.
This was heard at a summit held by Sea Point High School on July 27, the aim of which was to inform and raise awareness about challenges that parents, guardians, single parents and young high school pupils face on a daily basis with an aim to bring restoration within the family dynamics.
The guest speaker was actor Zane Meas, who is also a member of Fatherhood Foundation – an organisation that aims to improve the well-being of communities by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, committed and loving fathers.
Speaking about the issues faced by children who grow up in homes where there’s no father figure, he said boys were more likely to become involved in crime, and girls more likely to become pregnant as teens.
Mr Meas told parents, particularly fathers, that the needs of young girls and boys had to be acknowledged and that they should not wait for a child to accomplish anything in order to earn his or her dad’s acknowledgement and attention.
“They need to be told that they are loved, that they are valuable and that as a father, they make him proud. These affirmations are what reassures the child of their father’s interest in their lives,” he said.
Mr Meas also touched on the issue of parents being too busy and how this results in parents missing vital signs of danger for their children and young people.
He said boys needed to know they had a father who believed in them and had provided them with the tools to journey through life with.
“If not, young boys fall and struggle to find their place in society,” he said.
He said discipline begins at home and that children should be equipped with this in order to make the most of their schooling careers.
Various speakers at this forum also shared concerns about absent parents and the impact these have on young people.
Sea Point High principal Leana Le Breton, said it had been a forum for interaction with both present and past pupils as well as parents and the community at large.