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Father's Day: a role for everyone

Father’s Day recognizes the importance of being a dad. Today 1 out of 3 children lives in a home with no father present on a regular basis. But anyone can lend a hand to kids without a dad in their lives.

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A father and child play with pigeons at a park in Wuhan, in Hubei province, China, last April.

Reuters

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This week golfer Phil Mikelson flew all night from San Diego to the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., arriving just 90 minutes before his tee time at the US Open golf championship. The reason: He didn’t want to miss his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation ceremony.

His fatherly loyalty didn’t hurt his golf game: He shot a 67, his best opening round ever at a US Open event.

Woody Allen famously said, “80 percent of life is just showing up.” That certainly applies to fathering: A dad may not always be sure what is the right thing to do, but he can always try to be there. That counts for a lot.

Today 1 out of 3 children lives in a home with no father present on a regular basis, the Census Bureau says. Other studies outline the costs: Children in homes without fathers are nearly four times more likely to be poor. They have higher odds of being jailed than those in two-parent families and are more likely to be obese. Girls in these families are more likely to become pregnant before finishing high school.

Yes, kids can and do thrive in a mom-only household. But parenting is a tough task to hand to a single parent. Just ask President Obama.

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