When my nephew, Kahlil, came into this world, he changed my life forever.
But after my sister’s first pregnancy, where her fiance was always there, the thought that some children will never experience having a father crushed my heart.
Yes, I am talking to all of you dead-beat and would-be dead-beat fathers out there who don’t understand how essential it is for you to be a pivotal figure in the life of your children.
Statistically, children in single-parent homes have to struggle more than children with two “active” parents.
Most researchers have found that children from single-parent homes tend to do worse in school, be involved in criminal activity and become sexually active faster and with less caution than children with two parents.
Single motherhood is by far the most common example of single parenting, outnumbering single fathers four to one.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing that all children from single-parent homes will turn out to be losers.
But what I am saying is that it is important for two parents to raise a child because it does make a difference in the child’s life.
I know there are many students at Florida A&M University who are products of single-parent homes, mostly single mothers, and they made it.
I commend your mothers for being strong, independent, loving and all-knowing women who did what they had to do to get you here.
But what happened to the fathers?
Men, it is time to take your families back and become a driving force in your child’s life.
There is more to raising a child than sending your child-support check every month or coming around when it is convenient for you.
I’m not saying you need to be with the mother of your child because she may not be the one for you. But I am saying it is imperative that you are there every day for your child.
Remember we are here in college to better ourselves, and with that, we need to be cautious about our actions.
If you meet someone and can’t fathom the idea of being with them longer than your good time lasts, don’t have sex with them because you might have to deal with them for the rest of your life.
Coming from a two-parent home with parents who have been married 23 years, I know how much of an impact both parents had on me. I learned how to be a woman from my mommy and learned how I am supposed to be loved and treated by a man from my daddy.
But most importantly, I learned how to be a supportive woman in a relationship through the sunshine and the rain.
Men, remember you can create life but it takes a real man to nurture and father that child.
And for Kahlil, I want you to know that you have changed my life. I never thought that I could experience love at first sight.
You are destined for greatness.
For all you men and women out there, I hope one day you will be able to say those words to your own. I know I will.
Katrelle Simmons is junior English education student from Orlando. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.