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?