WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13: As Fathers’ Day approaches, we must not lose sight of the fact that, like good mothers, good fathers should be celebrated. I know quite a few.
Fathers play a crucial role in the overall development of their children from birth. He becomes Daddy, head of household, figure of authority and discipline, problem solver, and guide.
He exudes a presence that sends a clear message that the buck stops with him — even if mommy is around. When children know and understand the parameters of Dad’s expectations, they conduct themselves accordingly.
Too many of our households are having to function as best they can without that defined role of father. But while single mothers do their best, in most cases, to keep the household well balanced and the children well rounded, it is unfair that our children have to be raised with the absence of a father’s full or interactive presence.
Recently I had a father on my radio show as guest and he spoke of his commitment to raising the child he and his wife had created, as well as the children his wife entered the relationship with. What was noticeable to me was his deep-rooted love for his family and his undying commitment to be the man of the household and to make sure that his family’s needs are taken care of without excuse or failure.
Callers to the show expressed shock in knowing this man for many years yet not realizing that all of the children were not biologically his. His actions were natural and genuine.
A loving presence
I can surely relate. My dad never made me feel as if I was not his own flesh and blood either, and people never knew the difference. From when I was a young girl, his was a loving presence and he disciplined me the same way. I knew and understood his expectations and his wisdom helped guide me through life.
Boys need their fathers to help develop strength and character — to learn about the things we may summarize as ‘manly things’.
Girls need their fathers to show them the standards they should set for themselves when interacting with members of the opposite sex. When dad is missing from their children’s lives to teach these skills, is it really any wonder why we see delinquent behaviours?
Imagine how different the world would be if all fathers took their rightful places in the home and in the lives of their children. Imagine how different our island would be if they did the same.
I encourage all the good fathers to encourage another father to fulfil his role and to carry out his required responsibilities and I encourage all the good fathers to keep on being a visible and active presence in the lives of their children. It makes a huge difference in the overall development of your child.
Enjoy Fathers’ Day and take time to reflect upon all the qualities about yourself that earned you that title in the first place. Most importantly, include your child in your day, recommit to your role in your child’s life and stick to it.
Shawnette Somner is host of the radio show Generations, which airs on Monday evenings on Mix106 FM from 7:30pm to 9pm. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org