According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York, nationally, nearly one million young women under age 20 become pregnant each year. That means close to 2800 women get pregnant each day.
Where are the fathers?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 24 million children live apart from their biological fathers. That is 1 out of every 3 (33%) children in America. Nearly 2 in 3 (65%) African American children live in father-absent homes. Over 1 in 3 (34%) Hispanic children, and 1 in 4 (25%) white children live in father-absent homes.
Last year, President Obama challenged young men to step up as fathers, urging them to recognize that their “responsibility does not end at conception.”
VH1 and Dr. Jeff Gardere are coming to the rescue with their new show “Dad Camp.”
Dr. Jeff Gardere is a licensed psychologist and national relationship expert in New York City who prepares six young twenty-something young men for fatherhood in this VH1 eight-episode series.
Here the young fathers will face reality: A baby is on the way! Through parenting classes, personal challenges and powerful couple and group therapy, these young couples will learn about responsibility and the dedication, commitment and importance of selflessness that they must make to their children … because it’s the right thing to do and because fatherhood can be a positive and rewarding experience.
In each episode, Dr. Jeff offers intensive parenting lessons and challenges to prepare these young men for fatherhood. They’ll learn about parental nurturing, conquering their fears and commitment.
“Dad Camp’s” goal is to educate these young men and turn them into responsible fathers, when they’d much rather be out with their friends and other young women, spend time playing video games, drinking, using drugs, etc.
Dad Camp also addresses many of today’s societal issues, including the importance of male role models, absent fathers and the struggles of being a young parent.
The degree of risk to children of very young parents may be determined by the financial, social, and emotional stresses these families face. Yet, few participate in parenting education.