A British study finds that one in four children do not consider their own fathers to be "close" family.

More boys surveyed chose a soccer star as their role model over their own fathers.

This is a sad reflection on the culture of fatherhood, British or American.

It has been assumed for a long time that fathers aren't as important to their children and their developments as mothers are. And look at the results. We reap what we sow.

Fathers are often too busy...at work, at play, at SOMETHING. But you are never too busy to be their for your children.

When I first got divorced, my children's peers asked them when they would ever see me. The biggest fear a child can have after a marital split is that they are not going to ever be with one of their parents. Or that the back and forth will diminish time spent with their parents.

It's true ONLY if you make it so. I spend more quality time with my children now than I ever did when I shared the same address with them full time.

Time is what you make of it. I still know some fathers who are NEVER at school plays, sports, or birthday parties. I used to drive 240 miles roundtrip just to spend 2-3 hours with my kids.

Meanwhile, I knew plenty of fathers who LIVED with their kids and didn't ever spend that long of a stretch with their own children. Even in a WHOLE WEEK!

This study is distressing. But it is not shocking. Dads need to stand up and be fathers to their children. And the system needs to be changed so that able and loving fathers ARE allowed to spend more time with their children, even after a divorce.

So work hard and bring home the bacon. But never, ever miss your child's birthday, graduation, or other milestones of life. You may not remember someday that you did.

But your children will never forget.

And they need to consider you close family...because you ARE.

Luckily more and more fathers are making the choice to stay at home as much as they can. It's a great thing to see, and a societal reminder that fathers are just as important as mothers in the emotional, physical, and spiritual well being and upbringing of children.