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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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I Surrender

When I was in fourth grade I fell off my bike and took a really hard fall which left a gaping bloody wound on my left elbow. I was doing things that my parents definitely wouldn’t have approved of, so I hid the huge wound. Even though it was the middle of the summer I […]

Where Dads are Absent…Boys Suffer

Jeff and I published Tender Lions eight months ago. Since that time we’ve discovered more and more research and examples that demonstrate how boys without a healthy emotional connection to their dad are at risk, all kinds of risks! Last spring Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell revealed on CBS 60 Minutes the risk posed by “young males” […]

The Heart of a Dove & The Hide of a Rhino: Seven Lessons for Ethical Dilemmas

In the last few months both Jeff and I have encountered challenging ethical dilemmas involving organizations and people that we really care about. What follows are a few of the important lessons for Tender Lions to be aware of, because it’s only a matter of time before you and/or your son are going to encounter […]

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