I love my son and I love showing him that love whenever I can – be it a hug, cuddling, and, of course, kisses. I belong to a group of a few dad bloggers; and, I find that, like me, there are fellow dads who show love to their children in public and they receive funny looks from the other parents or strangers walking by.
I, for one, don’t understand this. As a society, we complain that dads don’t take enough of a role in raising children, and that they don’t show enough love and affection for their children.
I know there are people out there who do unspeakable things to children. Dr. Gene Abel estimates that between 1 percent and 5 percent of our population molest children (CNN Specials Transcript #454-Thieves of Childhood). And, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report, only 10% of sex offenders are women. (It should also be noted that sexual victimization is significantly under-reported overall, and reliable information about the incidents of sex crimes committed by females is difficult to obtain. Nonetheless, a variety of sources can collectively provide a working estimate of the scope of the problem, including arrest trends, census and caseload data from criminal and juvenile justice agencies, representation in sex offender treatment programs and victimization reports.)
So if those reports are accurate, that would mean of the 319 million people in the United States, 3 million to 16 million are child molesters. The U.S. Justice Department Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking, (SMART for short ) says there are 747,408 registered sex offenders in the US.
I know what the numbers say, and I will admit I am guilty of the same thoughts as a lot of people, when I women comes up to my son and is telling me how cute he is or smiles at him, I am OK with it. But, if a man would come up and say the same thing to my son, I would not be as comfortable with it.
I kiss and hug my son as often as I can, and I know there will come a day when he won’t like kisses and hugs from his old man. I know we all want to protect our children from all that is bad in world, but do we have to look at everything as a threat to our children? Do we need to be that callous – that jaded?
Have we, as a society, forgotten the truth that “it takes a village”? Do we always have to look at every person and every situation as a threat? We need to re-evaluate our thought process. There are men out there who truly love their children, who love to cuddle, kiss and hug those children. Why should we look at them in a funny way because they do so?
There is darkness out there. There are people who mean to do harm to our children, but it isn’t the whole world. We must remain vigilant.
But, if we want our men to be better dads, we first need to modernize our mindset and recognize that the men who are great men/dads far outpace the horrible ones.
A version of this first appeared on Daddy Newbie.