Fatherhood Left Wanting

Archived Article: Trust Newsletter 25/12/08

fatherhood.jpg    New Zealand’s media continues to expose the crisis faced by our beloved children: abused by their parents, bullied in schools, ensnared by the influence of gangs and ultimately wreaking havoc on our communities through crime and violence. With such a high profile, ideas on the appropriate response have been widespread. ‘For the Sake of Our Children Trust’ hopes to turn the focus toward prevention. In essence, we are talking about leading people away from the cliff rather than the ‘ambulance-at-the-bottom’ approach.

Prevention starts with the family. ‘Endless studies show that virtually every major social pathology we face can be linked back to the breakdown of the family: violent crime, drugs and alcohol abuse, truancy, unwed pregnancy, suicide, psychological disorders.’ (See Dr. Muriel Newman, “Restoring Fatherhood” www.nzcpr.com) Newman goes on to describe how Andrew Becroft, New Zealand’s principal Youth Court Judge, portrayed the deep-seated need boys have for a father figure: “14, 15, and 16 year-old boys seek out role models like ‘heat seeking missiles’.

It’s either the leader of the Mongrel Mob or it’s a sports coach or it’s Dad. But an overwhelming majority of boys who I see in the Youth Court have lost contact with their father. …What I’m saying is that I’m dealing in the Youth Court with boys for whom their Dad is simply not there, never has been. Gone, vanished and disappeared.”

Indeed, his recent report that over 35,000 kids are currently living on the streets further evidences the social tragedy faced by New Zealand. Despite this fundamental need for families to be founded on a strong mother father unit, many Government policies and various social movements have pushed for the exact opposite.

Welfare laws, antismacking legislation, civil unions and the like imply that the Government is a better ‘caregiver’ than a child’s own parents. We have been active in our campaign to empower New Zealand’s parents once again. It was such a delight to support the collection of more than 390,000 signatures for the last smacking referendum and we wait with baited breath to see whether it will be implemented in the upcoming election.

What can you do?

At the individual level, be the instruments of change. Catherine Lawson, Jigsaw Professional Consultant, stated that every New Zealander is responsible for keeping our children safe and alive. (See: “Your Voice can save a child’s life, www.scoop.co.nz) How right she is. You are encouraged to visit www.parentsinc.org.nz for practical parenting tips in your own homes. On a public level get active and use your voice to:

Phone talkback radio
Write to the editors of local and national newspapers
Write to the Prime Minister
Write to your local MP
Join protests/action groups
Report abuse to the Police
Join Light One Life and sign up to support our principles. www.lightonelife.org.nz.

Thank you again for your support and for giving our kids your vote.