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Opinions Wed, 21 Jun 2017

The hypocrisy of children on Father's Day: Who takes the blame?

Fathers' Day is a day many children appreciate the good deeds of their fathers.

It is one day that makes me miss my father. He was the not best of fathers, but he did his best to make sure his children never lacked in every aspect of their lives.

To say he was a disciplinarian will be an understatement. It was just unfortunate we lost him to death some 16 years ago. Thank God my mother was available to pick up the pieces. She took over the mantle and by the grace of God, she has been able to groom us to be responsible men.

The advent of Social Media has in one way or the other has resurrected the love for fathers. Children change their profile pictures on various platforms and replace them with their fathers. Some even go the extra mile to write thesis on the affection for their fathers.

My bone of contention is whether we have to wait for such a day set aside to appreciate fathers before we show our appreciation? Is it also to please the world just because it is the new craze in town? Many are those who do not even remember the last time they even called their fathers to say hello or visited them to share with them their favourite food but are quick to flaunt their Dads on Social Media just to join the bandwagon. The message they post do not even get read because some fathers are ICT deficient.

It is true the dwindling love for fathers has been attributed to irresponsibility.This is very true. Some fathers abandon mothers the very day she takes seed leaving her to her faith. She becomes the sole care provider for the child. The child grows up bereft of the love care, and protection of a father.

He or she is downhearted anytime she sees fathers lending support to their wards during their first day in school, graduation and other relevant activities. Some fathers nicodemously crawl into the lives of the children when they realize the children have made some giant strides. Some fathers too are willing to die for their wards.

Some are ready to offer financial, academic, emotional and spiritual support but current economic conditions have created a barrier between fathers and children. They leave home before their kids wake up and return when they are fast asleep. This affects bonding between father and children.

Another factor that makes children grow up to detest their fathers is that, anytime they come into contact with their fathers is a time for punishment. This is because some mothers always want their children to be punished by their fathers anytime they do the wrong things instead of meting out the punishment themselves.

So the children grow up thinking their fathers never loved them. They were only interested in inflicting pain on them. The fathers only become important when children are getting married. This is because they have to give a daughter's hand in marriage or lead the son to marry. They end up being spare fathers through no fault of theirs.

Some children are just ungrateful. They become selfish and decide to neglect the fathers who made them who they are. They sometimes extend it their mothers for no apparent reason.

I can imagine how the responsible fathers felt when their children who genuinely love them sent them messages to wish them well. Fathers must understand that their reckless actions have repercussions on their innocent children.

Some daughters grow up to hate men just because their fathers treated them badly. They sometimes decide not to marry. All men must be up and doing. Reneging on their responsibilities is a sin before the Lord. It is true the system is a bit frustrating which makes it sometimes difficult for fathers to do what is right, but it must be noted it is soul-soothing and rewarding to make time for your kids than to go about chasing all the money in the world and end up losing your children to social vices and their affection.

Children who have neglected their Dads and are happy flaunting them on Social Media should have a quick change of mind. The value of a father is priceless. There is no blessing in ignoring what is right. They must do the needful by asking for forgiveness from God. Others who have a genuine case against their Dads should find ways to settle it amicably. It is not healthy and a sin to harbour hatred in your heart. Pray for a forgiving heart and the strength to withstand the pressures that come with it.

Finally, all must endeavour to celebrate fathers daily for their support. Let us not wait until it is Fathers' Day to show camouflage love. Make that phone call to the father or son you have abandoned and swore never to associate with. You will be surprised they will meet with a kind heart and an open mind to receive you.
Columnist: Simon Aikins