Some topics of conversation come up over and over again. One such subject is that of the deadbeat father. 

Over the years I’ve seen more and more children abandoned by their fathers, and I wonder if the problem hasn’t ever really been tackled because perhaps those in positions to make changes are deadbeats themselves. I could be wrong. 

But whatever the reasons, we cannot continue to allow our children to grow up without the necessary input from their fathers – and we cannot allow males to continue depositing their DNA and walking away from it as if they’ve just dropped a dirty napkin on the ground.

As an educator of almost three decades I’ve seen enough hurt, pain, heartache, and disappointment in the eyes and hearts of our youth. And I’m tired of the excuses: Fathers who can’t stand the mother – so they abandon the children. It seems there was nothing wrong with the woman when he chose to impregnate her. Fathers promise children material possession or outings but never come through. Do these males know what the mother has to endure when dealing with a child whose disappointment turns to anger?  

Fathers move on to other females and ignore their first responsibility to the child they created. Shame on those women who embrace these deadbeats without guiding them to take care of their children. Fathers blame all their downfalls on the mother – and then have the audacity to share their gripes with the child.  My advice? Be a man and stop acting like a “wuss”.  You created that child. Spend time with him or her without fabricated excuses. 

What about the fathers who are in no condition to care for their child due to their own commitment to drugs and alcohol? Can even be trusted to have children in their care?  

In most conversations on this topic, males accuse women of “male bashing”.  It’s easier than addressing the real root of the problems.   

Deadbeat mothers are not to be let off the hook, either. I’ll get to that in a future column. Next week I will share the devastation absent fathers cause to their children – and ultimately to the community at large. 

Shawnette Somner is an educator and a mother. Email: