Life is so precious and there is nothing more precious than a baby or a child.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and I want to encourage you to love on your child today, tomorrow and for the rest of your life.

Children are so innocent, rambunctious, and adorable, aren’t they? They deserve our undivided attention, tender loving care, healthy guidance and instruction for their well-being and emotional, spiritual, and physical growth.

Fathers are so important in the life of their child. So important! Unfortunately, 1 out of 3 children grow up without their biological father in the home. And male youths really suffer from father absence with 63 percent of youth suicides; 90 percent of homeless and runaway youths; 71 percent of high school dropouts; 75percent of youth in chemical centers and 70 percent in state operated institutions all coming from fatherless homes.

But there is hope! The ability to parent children successfully is in large part a learned set of behaviors and any father given the chance can learn to be a great dad and parent. There is a fatherhood movement in this country that is helping men to become the best fathers they can be, and this gives me hope.

Our society and the safety of our children hinge upon males who are fathers, to become men, who take responsibility for the safety and well being of their families and children.

I believe in men and I also believe we are up for the challenge! After all children are so precious, aren’t they?

David M. Young Sr.

Fatherhood Specialist

Children’s Advocacy Center

of Lawrence County

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