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A raw, unfiltered look at one father-son relationship on the brink of destruction that-against all odds-was not only saved but restored.

But that’s not the end of the story. Every day a war is waged for the hearts and minds of boys, due to the epidemic of fatherlessness. With honest talk about addiction, absentee fathers and ultimately hope for healing…Tender Lions relays vital lessons that are essential to the health and survival of society.

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By the Numbers

More than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father. Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent. If fatherlessness were classified as a disease, it would be considered an epidemic—worthy of attention as a national emergency. The following research statistics reveal the dramatic increased risk to boys when the father is absent:

High School Dropouts 71%
Teen Pregnancies 71%
Children with Behavioral Disorders 85%
Homeless and Runaway Children 90%

Fatherlessness is associated with almost every societal ill facing our country’s children.

  • 24.7 million children (33%) live absent from their biological father
  • 17.7 million children grades 1-12 (39%) with absent biological father
  • 57.6% black children
  • 31.2% hispanic children
  • 20.7% white children
*Source – U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Education National Center of Education, the National Center for Fathering

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Mind the Gap

Recently the Wall Street Journal and the Atlantic (and others) published startling statistics about how poorly boys and young men are doing in the academic realm. The gap is serious and has been growing for decades. Girls out-perform boys in math, reading and science in almost every single zip code in the United States, Many […]

10 Things Every Dad Should Model for his Son

Since Jeff and I started writing Tender Lions, we’ve been immersed in reading, research and observing the behavior of dads and sons. The list below are common sense things, that upon closer inspection appear to not be so common as one might hope. Over 35% of boys in the United States don’t live with their […]

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That great philosopher, Huey Lewis in his 1985 hit song, The Power of Love, sang: “The power of love is a curious thing, Make a one man weep, make another man sing. Change a hawk to a little white dove, More than a feeling, that’s the power of love.” The phrase “change a hawk to […]

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