A father is the male parent of a child. Besides the paternal bonds of a father to his children, the father may have a parental, legal, and social relationship with the child that carries with it certain rights and obligations. So many men don’t understand what it means to be a Father, they believe a father is one who gets a woman pregnant, escort her to the hospital for delivery, escort her back home after delivery, welcome guests who come to visit the child, introduce himself as a proud father and disappears mentally into thin air but physically present for the first 10-15 years of the child’s life. He knows nothing about his child, it’s even worse when it’s a boy. If you are observant most girls are close to their Fathers than the boys. Oh yes! Why? Masculine inferiority complex! (Don’t bother to check Google for that word. It’s my word.)
The only thing they do is to provide money. How the child schools, they don’t know. How the child fares in school, who does assignment, who listens to the child, they don’t know. That’s what I mean by mentally absent but physically present. And somehow, that child bonds more to the mother especially the boys.
Then the Father suddenly appears to want to advice him when he gets admission into the higher institution. A father that was never interested in how he solved addition and subtraction in Primary 1 now wants to be his friend in 100 Level. And in most cases they are never friends. The supposed father looks like an alien to him, his mum is the only person in his life that has a say over what he does, already he has inferiority complex. He is already struggling with habits, he is already struggling with his attractions for the opposite sex, and he has so much to deal with yet with little mentorship from his Father. A boy who grew up with such kind of environment will never be a good husband and Father when the times comes, except he is open and willing to learn even at that state.
The above illustration is a typical picture of what Fatherhood is like in most homes.
Who is an ideal Father?
- We can’t talk of the Father Figure without mentorship. Being a Father requires you mentor your sons (this is my focus) from childhood. Correcting and advising a 17-year old boy who you never solved math with at 3 will make no sense. Be intentional about your son(s). Don’t just escort to the hospital for delivery, be a part of the growth and development of that Child. There is nothing I envision like my sons and their Father relaxing over chicken pepper soup with chilled Chocolate drink and chatting like friends. They have been so mentored by their Father that they feel safe to talk to him about anything. Some guys would rather talk to their mum about a girl they are attracted to than talk to their dad. Why? Daddy is the Stern-looking one who is always shouting round the house on the wife and the kids. He is so unapproachable and mean.
- An ideal dad disciplines. Disciplining doesn’t mean to condemn. It means to correct. What most Fathers call discipline is actually child abuse. Correction is always done with and in love. The child knows this as ‘discipline’. Any kind of disciplinary measure that demoralises a child physically and physiologically is child abuse.
- Be open enough to talk about issues as regards what being a man is with your son. Fathers usually shy about talking sex with their sons. Why are they shy to talk about sexual attractions with ladies with your sons? These boys grow up to learn about it from pornography and peers. The wrong places to learn. Security education starts at home. They should be taught properly and correctly by you the Father.
For the single guys, your dad may have been the worse dad ever. He may even not have any contribution to your life. But you know better. Don’t make that mistake. Relax! You will be a great father to your sons.
Written by: Susan Dare