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The Father Factor
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Father’s Day is much more than a time to give and receive neck ties and coffee mugs or to golf and barbecue.
Father’s Day is about spending time with your children, and a needed reminder of the importance of a father in a child’s life.
My wife and I are parents of four adopted children. They’re my pride and joy, and I can’t imagine life without them.
Sadly though, many kids in our country don’t know the love of a father, the support of a dad.
The National Center for Fathering details how more than 20 million children in America live in a home without the physical presence of a father. Millions more have dads who are physically present in their home or lives, but are emotionally absent.
In fact, if it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be classified as a national epidemic.
There is a “father factor” in most all social issues facing the U.S. today. The stats are there, and they’re very alarming.
Drug and alcohol abuse are greater among fatherless children.
Fatherless children have higher rates of chronic asthma, headaches and speech defects.
They’re nine times more likely to drop out of school. And 20 times more likely to be incarcerated.
Children need fathers.
It’s with much reluctance that I leave my kids almost every week to travel to Washington D.C. to serve in Congress.
I will end up missing every one of my son’s Alex’s baseball games this June – and that hurts, because we’d much rather I be in Kansas with him and my entire family than in Washington. I’d much rather see a three-run homer with my own eyes than over the phone.
Our kids need us in their lives to lead them by our positive example. They’re very impressionable, and the things we say and do stick with them. I can still remember my dad, my biggest supporter, pointing out time and time again some boneheaded action by someone else: “That’s a cheap lesson.”  In other words, learn and don’t be that stupid.
Whether you’re a biological or adopted dad, grandfather, uncle or other father figure, I encourage you to spend time with your family this Father’s Day and throughout the summer. Read to and with them – and then ask them their thoughts. Go outside and play catch or visit a park. Have them help you cook a meal in the kitchen. Search for a volunteer opportunity in your community you can do together.
The most important unit of society is the family. We as men must do our part to keep our nation’s families together and strong.
Congressman Tim Huelskamp represents the First District of Kansas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Huelskamp sits on the national Advisory Council of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption and serves on the Veterans Affairs Committee and the Small Business Committee. He is the Pro-Life Caucus Whip and Chairman of the Tea Party Caucus