How are the fathers doing?

Sun, 21 Jun 2015 Source: Eyiah, Joseph Kingsley

Asks Joe Kingsley Eyiah, OCT, Brookview Middle School, Toronto

"Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name" (Matthew 6:9)

It is said, "Any man can be a FATHER, but it takes a special person to be a DAD" Just replacing the word 'Father' with word 'Dad'? Semantics!!

Anyway, Father's Day is here again! June 21 this year is celebrated as Father's Day throughout the world.

I have published some crucial articles before on "fatherhood" to reflect such occasion and had questioned: 'Where Are the Fathers?' In this piece, I question, HOW ARE THE FATHERS DOING?

I am encouraged to write this short discourse by the a musical performance put up by a father and his two sons during a Father's Day appreciation time at the Toronto West SDA Church on June 20. The boys responded beautifully to their father's love in that song to the admiration of the whole congregation! Yes, the father's love must be appreciated at all times!

There are obvious obstacles which may frustrate fathers. These include unsupportive attitude towards fathers by some mothers and the overtly out-of-Ghanaian cultural values cum 'I don't care-ism' of some children towards their fathers, especially in the western world (termed free societies)! Anyway these should not take away the focus of fathers to be the good fathers they ought to be.

Fathers and Families:

Unfortunately, families nowadays are so busy and burdened that each person (father, mother and child) ends up going his/her own way. When do families spend quality time together?

Fathers, undoubtedly, are the heads of the families, (my apologies to single mothers whose roles are great in parenting and even beyond). This does not mean that fathers have the right to boss everyone around! As rightly pointed out, 'being the head of a family is about being a leader not a dictator. Self-discipline is the key to good 'fatherhood'! For, 'if a father is a good and just person and treats everyone with respect, then his children will learn more when he says you must show respect to each person you meet.

As a teacher, it is sad to note that some students hate talking about their fathers because there is NO RELATIONSHIP between them and their biological fathers. Some student will simply tell you, 'I have no father' or 'forget about my father!'

Do we as fathers know our role in parenting?

Fathers' Role in Parenting:

So much have been said and written about the role of the father in parenting. Prominent among the discussion include;

a) The father as a role model-fathers are the first role models to their children whether they realize it or not. For example, a girl who spends time with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves to be treated with respect by boys. Sons also learn their first important lessons in life from their fathers.

b) Fathers must spend quality time with their children (especially when they are very young). Children feel neglected when their fathers appear always too busy to have time for them. Spending time with your kids at sporting activities and on tours bring fathers more close to their children.

c) Fathers must respect their children's mother. That is one of the best things a father can do for his children. Even if you are no longer married to your children's mother, it is still important to respect and support the mother of your children. By so doing your children are more likely to feel that they are also accepted and respected.

d) Last but not the least; fathers must discipline their children with love!

Fathers need the unflinching support of their wives or mothers of their children in their role in parenting. Such support is very crucial if fathers will succeed anywhere as fathers!

Sigmund Freud, the famous psychologist, once said, "I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."

How are you doing, fathers? Hope we are following the path of our Father in Heaven. Happy Father's Day to you all. May God bless your efforts as you play your role as fathers.

Columnist: Eyiah, Joseph Kingsley