Fatherhood has often being described as the state of being a father; a male parent. It is of great importance to note that one does not become a father simply because one has impregnated a woman. Fatherhood entails discipline, commitment, being involved, verbally communicative, consistent, warm, strong and above all responsible. There is a gully in the type of fatherhood practiced today compared to the likes of our fathers, grandfathers and great-grand fathers. In times past, our fathers knew their responsibilities and needed no humming bird to reel out what they were supposed to. They seriously provided for their large families, watched over them and of course, the result? They were worshipped. In the 21st century, what do we see? We see men who claim they are better informed and civilized than our forbears yet they can’t do the following:
- Feed their small family compared to our fathers and forbears who had six, eight, ten and twelve children not forgetting their harem of wives .Notwithstanding the fact that our male forbears were hardworking and diligent, they knew without being told by any text-book or goggle plus that the number one duty of a man; a father is to feed his family .It is often said that a man who cannot feed his family is worse than an infidel. Today, we come across men who believe since wives earn more than they do, their wives should be responsible for providing food for the family. Others who earn well but are terribly stingy would rather spend the money on booze, women, friends and relatives than give his wife a reasonable amount of money for feeding.
- Pay their children’s school fees: I often wonder what kind of ego a man has when he cannot pay his children’s school fees. It is either they are kicked out of school or his wife comes to the rescue. Many a time, the excuse of such men is that the children should be put in a public school were little or nothing is paid. Every Tom, Dick and Harry knows that most of our public schools are not fit to be called schools .No reasonable mother who wants the best for her children would enroll them in a public school knowing fully well that most of them lack toilet facilities, tables and chairs, potable water and dedicated tutors.
- Provide decent accommodation: It is funny how many men want women to suffer and in their own word ‘manage’ with them after gallivanting away their time and privilege as well as opportunities when they should have been thoughtfully working and gathering to build a home. Men, these days fail to provide decent shelter for their family. According to them, if their wife is not comfortable with the indecent place he has chosen then she should be ready to pay for any other comfortable place of her choice. The stock in trade of most of these men is game playing- The Emotion/Mind Game. They are aware that most women desire the best for their children and will never settle for less so these crafty fathers sit and relax while their wives do all the bidding .It is a shame.
- Inspiring the children: in the name of working to provide for the family, whose gains most times are enjoyed by the man’s extended family, most fathers fail to bond with their children. This was one major attribute of our forebears because they passed down history/information to their children especially their sons, whom they consider as priceless; an extension of them. But these days, most sons don’t know their fathers either because they live abroad or they work all day, all week and all weekend. So, that father figure is lacking. This explains why most men are not disciplined. Truth be told, most men use work as an excuse to avoid their responsibilities. There is always a price to pay for every act of ours, when a man decides to ignore his fatherly duties or dubiously pass them over to his wife, he should expect a lot of negative reactions from her, his in – laws, his neighbours and any sensible individual related to him. Just a quick reminder, fatherhood is scared and ordained by God as such, should not be handled with kid gloves. HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY to all those fathers living up to expectation.
An Educator writes from Lagos
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