Deadbeat dads get a dose of reality

It is a sad reality that some fathers have decided to abandon their roles as dad a little too easily. I have heard several different stories from single mothers who have been raising their children alone since before the birth of their baby, or shortly after. And as common as the situation is, it always amazes me that some fathers don’t understand that they actually have an important role to play in a child’s life. A father who is there for their child can help positively shape their child’s life to come. And on the same page, a father who isn’t there will be shaping their child’s life too – except in the negative.

VH1 is starting a new show on Monday called “Dad Camp”, a reality show based on helping young fathers-to-be step up to the plate and be a real father. The targeted dads are young men who are under the impression that the parenting role falls on the woman’s shoulders, and that their lives don’t have to change at all. The first episode shows 6 immature men and their expecting girlfriends. In this show, these dads will be changing real-life poopy diapers, simulating what it feels like to be pregnant, and given the opportunity to break the cycle they may have been taught from their own fathers and learn how to be a dad.

These are all great things for a father to learn. And by the preview video of the show (which you can take a peek at over in the SantaRosaMom.com forums), it looks like there are some hard discussions put forth that promote deeper thinking towards parenthood.

But I think they’re missing a few things….

I’d like to see a Dads (or Moms – let’s face it, moms abandon their kids too) Camp for those parents who have left the picture already and abandoned their kids in the process. I’d like to see those deadbeat parents survive for a month on a single paycheck with no child support or county aid, pay the bills and rent on time, provide food for the family, and still have enough money left over for all of the kids’ extra “wants” (like birthday party presents or the latest toy). I’d love to see them explain to their children why they can’t afford some luxuries, and why the other parent is missing.  In that month, they should have to tackle each child’s different sports and after school schedule, homework, dinners, bagged lunches, and doctor appointments with only one pair of hands. And I’d love to see them manage to have the energy to work full time, manage the kids, keep up the household, and maintain a positive attitude while never getting a break. 

Single mamas and papas who are single parenting it without help – what kinds of programs do you think a Dad or Mom Camp should have to reform your child’s deadbeat parent?

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5 thoughts on “Deadbeat dads get a dose of reality”

  1. I agree with the deadbeat Dad thing. A lot of Dads dont fill the obligations of being a responsible, Loving, providing father. That is wrong. Unfortunately, some women see the men as only a paycheck. They do not want the man to participate in decissions, upbringing or seeing the child/children. I think this is a really sticky subject by both parents.

  2. I actually couldn’t agree more. Which brings me to a different topic (perhaps for a different day?) – if some guy isn’t the type of person you would want as an active father and role model to your children, don’t procreate with him. That pretty much means checking your hormones at the door.

  3. As the grown child of a deadbeat dad with children of her own now, I’d love the opportunity to tell those fathers-in-training how it felt to be me growing up.

  4. I would recommend a program where such deadbeat parent could have the opportunity to actually listen directly/indirectly to their children as they try to explain to their classmates/playmates, teachers, etc. Why they don’t have the support of either parent and most importantly, have the children share their feelings through communication or expressive art as to how they feel not having their parent around. Having these same children answer the 3 wish question regarding their missing parent. “if you could wish for a day and have 3 wishes about missing mom/dad, what would you wish for?”

    I believe getting actual information of this nature could possibly consciously/subcounsciously change the deadbeat parent and hopefully encourage them to spend more time with their children, who by far are the ones affected by their absence, because after all, they (the children) are not the ones who chose to come into this world, that of course, was the choice of both mom/dad or shall I say, donor/carrier.

  5. When I got pregnant with my daughter – i couldn’t help but feel scared and alone. I had just moved to CA from DE. My daughter’s father is living with his mommy, hasn’t had a job in 3+ years (which I didn’t know) and has no high school diploma or ged.
    Shortly after having my daughter – I was offered a good job in MD, and before I knew I got pulled into the “lovely” family court. I did everything my attorney advised me. I got my own apartment, work 2 jobs, and handle her daycare expenses. He was levied $174 a month Child support (which doesn’t even cover her daycare). He is 4 months in arrears. How is this justice? How can someone who does literally nothing have any rights? If given the opportunity to better provide for your family in another state – How is a dead beat can manage to hold you back? I need help.

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