I grew up in a loving home where I saw my father practically love and worship my mother and to this day, those two teenagers are more in love after almost 40 years of marriage. My father was a strict disciplinarian, but also quick in love, even in disciplinary correction toward me and my brothers.
Unfortunately, there are many children today that cannot say the same. There’s no need for me to provide a statistic on how high the rate of father absenteeism is. As we celebrate Father’s Day 2018, let us reflect on the power of a father’s presence. Positive fatherly representation is vital to a child’s development. Fatherhood is more than a man going to work to provide for his family. A committed father shows compassion toward his children, lovingly corrects without hesitation and exhibits qualities of appropriate affection, security, leadership and wisdom in his administration as father.
I don’t care how outwardly successful a man is. I look at a man’s success principally on how his children view him. Do the children respect, admire and love their father, or is there an indication of distance, shame, resentment, or anger like that of a deep wound, that has yet to heal? Fathers, if you have not been the best example, while you have breath, it’s never too late to try and reconcile with your children.
If you are in a co-parenting situation, treat your ex-spouse/partner with civility and respect, as your children are watching you. How you treat your ex, and others is a mental template your children will consciously or unconsciously mimic.
To mothers or women, we must recognize the positional role of fatherhood as designated for a man! Even if you are a single mother, do NOT use Father’s Day to slam your child’s father, even if he is not present in the child’s life. Instead, use it as a teaching moment to discuss all other positive male representations in your child’s life.
To the stay-at-home dads, and all committed fathers out there, thank you for giving us hope that there are still great fathers out there. I hope you all get more than a tie. Happy Father’s Day!
– Dr. Chisom Unegbu