I believe there is a significant relationship between the upbringing of children and how they later form relationships. Since I am a father, I consider this my domain. I also believe the world, and especially America, is facing a colossal crisis: Too many children are being sent into dangerous atmospheric social conditions without the tools and experiences they need to survive. The overall climate for our children to succeed, to procreate and build a peaceful world, is seriously polluted.
Our schools are pushing hard to install attitudes of acceptance and tolerance. Yet hate crimes, bullying, antisemitism, and blatant racial animosity are exploding all around the world. It is as if the policies and polemic against social injustice are backfiring. We have given the burden to soothe our culture to our children, and they are struggling to implement it.
This is nothing less than a failure of parenting. Schools can help, but the initiation of being loved, of being protected and of having a future, must be instilled at the earliest years and it must come from those most intimately connected to the child.
Each year an estimated 800K children simply disappear off the face of the Earth. Why isn't this crime against humanity constantly front page news? How can we consider ourselves civilized if our children live in fear? No children are immune from the threat of abduction. As the economy shrinks and the standards for employment increase, millions of young disoriented kids turn to black market industries, indirectly introducing themselves into the dark underbelly of sexual exploitation.
Some would say our modern culture is better because we are more tolerant and open to a variety of family structures. They suggest single parenting, homosexual parenting, or even unstructured family formats are all well suited to develop successful and loving next generation families.
In my experience, every woman I have known that had hang-ups over intimacy, eventually reveals some sort of childhood abuse. Every man that demonstrates physical abuse towards women, typically experienced abuse as a child, usually by a parent or a relative. Obviously the human psyche is complicated and I am not trying to over-simplify what is a significant social epidemic, but there is a pattern that emerges: Strong, stable, and close families seldom encounter dangerous anomalies. Kids don't run away from love and acceptance, and they don't turn violent if they have never experienced violence.
Kids who experience unconditional love are better prepared to extend the same kind of intimacy later in life. Clearly there are exceptions, and we all know that kids raised in the same family don't always exhibit the same kind of behaviors. But the chances are much better that those kinds of experiences will result in more balanced and self reliant young adults.
According to many so-called experts, the rate of violence towards children correlates closer with fatherlessness rather than poverty. We know, for example, 63% of all youth suicides, 70% of all teen pregnancies, 71% of all adolescent chemical/substance abusers, 80% of all prison inmates, and 90% of all homeless and runaway children, came from fatherless homes (Chuck Colson, "How Shall We Live?").
"Growing up without a father could permanently alter the structure of the brain, and produce more children who are more aggressive and angry. Children brought up only by a single mother have a higher risk of developing deviant behavior, including drug abuse" (Dr. Gabriella Gobbi, McGill University/Francis Bamlico, Center for Addiction and Mental Health).
The numbers don't lie. The War On Drugs failed miserably. Childhood suicide has skyrocketed. Children are unaccounted for. While single mom birth rates are up, overall birth rates are down. Childhood homelessness and poverty are growing exponentially. Too many men refuse to be held accountable for their impregnations, and women have fallen out of love with motherhood and femininity.
The family unit is in a free fall. Our real climate crisis is the toxic environment we have created for our children by abandoning the Nuclear Family Unit.