The Government Can’t Replace Fathers

This weekend my son participated in a baseball tournament that included kids from throughout the region. They didn’t move on to the playoffs, which was disappointing, but they’ll get over it. They played well, and all the kids on our team will go on to play again next week on their assigned Little League teams. It’s a great sport. They stay out of trouble, they get a lot of exercise and they learn some valuable life lessons. These boys are all competitive. They want to win.

They all get a trophy at the end of the season, but they don’t care about that. They want the bragging rights. They also learn that things don’t always go their way. There can be a bad call by the umpire. (Which happens all the time.) They miss the easy outs, they swing at balls thrown over their heads. Hey, baseball is a lot like life. You win some, you lose some, and things aren’t always fair; but that doesn’t mean you quit trying.

The team they played today was a team from the inner city league. We heard that this was the first time these kids played together. They lost yesterday 22 to nothing. Today our starting pitcher walked in two runs in the first inning. Those were the only two runs this team scored all day. After we had a 7 run lead our coach said to take it easy on them. Had the lead extended to ten runs after the fourth inning, the game would have been called thanks to a mercy rule. So at least these kids got to play all six innings and get some fielding practice.

What struck me is that there was only one adult coach. The assistant coach couldn’t have been older than 13. In our league, all the coaches are dads volunteering their time. Our team had the maximum of three volunteer dads. Even the fathers who don’t coach watch and call out to their sons, “Mikey - get that bat back and level your swing.” “Peter - pay attention, this next hit is coming your way.”

Sadly for the kids from the city, there was no dad on the sidelines. Not one father. There also was only one mother that I saw. Ten kids and no parents. Perhaps some parents were working, but still, it was pretty sad to see no parents out there cheering on their kids while our sideline was full of parents, siblings and grandparents. The game was out in the suburbs, but it’s only about 15 minutes away from Syracuse and is on a bus line that runs on holidays and weekends. I just don’t get it. Where were the parents?

My husband has horrible allergies, so this is his most miserable time of year. Yet he’s still out there at every game, standing at third base, sneezing and directing the runners. The kids have someone to look up to, someone to tell them when to run, when to slide, when to steal a base. The kids they played today didn’t have any of that.

I pray for those kids. I pray that someone who cares gets involved, that someone steps up to show them how to swing, teach them a proper stance at bat, tell them when to run and which base the next play is at. And their moms should be there cheering them on, letting they know they love them whether they win or lose. It’s not about the money. It doesn’t have to be baseball. It’s about the parents, being active in their kids’ lives, coaching them and cheering them on.

The league that hosted the tournament this weekend left four or five bags of gear for these kids. But if some dads or father figures don’t step up to coach them it probably won’t make much of a difference. The government can spend all the money they want on social programs, but unless these kids have involved fathers the odds of them developing the life skills necessary to make it out of poverty will remain against them. No matter how you look at it, government cannot replace fathers.

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7 Responses to The Government Can’t Replace Fathers

  1. Sam Adams on May 29, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    As a Senior NCO in the US Army I saw first hand the results of growing up in a single parent family.

    Sadly, too many youth now learn how to deal with life by joining a gang.

    Thank you Progressive Democrats. You’re tearing down our country. You think you are so smart….you’re really a bunch of clowns with no common sense.

    You no-spine Republicans are also to blame.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    • Lonely Conservative on May 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      I notice Tlaloc had no reply to the post on the need for fathers.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Lisa on May 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    This is depressing. It makes me sad. When I think of children getting the shaft because their parents are making bad choices or are irresponsible, it just breaks my heart. I don’t understand it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Maggie@MaggiesNotebook on May 30, 2011 at 12:06 am

    This is a glaring, very sad reality that many of us seldom if ever see, up close and personal. My heart aches for the children who will never be coached and will eventually end up standing on a street corner selling something illegal - and never knew a father.

    Sam’s comment expresses the terrible and daunting truth. God bless the children, please.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. KT on May 30, 2011 at 7:57 am

    A very sexist article bashing moms claiming they are single as if their is something wrong with being single - especially if a woman leaves an abusive man to have a better home for her children. The fact that hardly any parents were there would seem to indicate that many parents both moms and dads can’t attend their children’s games with an economy so bad that many have to work 2 jobs. You should stop making sexist comments about single mothers and be more concerned that few parents were there for their kids. Kuddos to the mom who was there supporting her child. Moms can coach too you know. Moms can raise great men who go on to do amazing things. Some of the greatest men in history came from homes that you would misogynistically call “fatherless”
    Try to learn to find the real cause of the problem before writing such a sexist article. Poverty may be the problem for these children. These may be some very independent kids who go on to do great things - think very successful sports stars. Your exaltation of males ruling over all does not help poor children who may just have poor dads or poor moms who are working. Even if their father doesn’t come around, it doesn’t mean that it is a bad thing. There are plenty of men that children are better off not being around. They will grow up to be strong and independent with a better chance at being a good man than if they were exposed to a bad influence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

    • Sam Adams on May 30, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      Single parent families are almost always about a deadbeat and/or vacant father.

      Using excuses such as “….leaves an abusive man to have a better home….” simply serve to enable a bad situation as they apply in very few cases.

      It used to be out of wedlock birth was shunned. Today’s PC society gets upset if you even try to hold parents of out of wedlock children accountable.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Liberty 5-3000 on May 30, 2011 at 9:18 am

    KT, unless these kids were produced in a petri dish—-out of twenty parents, ONE showed up? And while you’re calling this observation “sexist comments about single mothers” (where da heck did that come from?), you yourself are showing some surprising hostility toward men and fathers. Maybe every single kid there was being raised by a single mother—-I would still find it hard to believe that only one, then, could manage to show up. I suspect that it was easier to have the kids out of their hair for a day. And I’m not saying that’s an evil thing—if you’re doing it all on your own, it’s exhausting and sometimes you need the break.

    LC is commenting on the bigger, irrefutable fact that parents these days in general are not all that interested in being involved with their kids every single day. These kids likely have less than the kids in suburbia, their team is likely sponsored by the government and money is thrown into programs for them-after school, camp, baseball teams and art lessons….but none of that will ever take the place of time spent with their parents. And for boys, Dads are a necessity. Like a girl wants to try lipstick and hairstyles on a Saturday afternoon with her MOM, boys like to toss a football with DAD. I’m sorry you seem to have had a bad experience(s?) with men and if you’re raising a son on your own, I wish you good luck but also a father figure for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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