Much respect to the real dads

June 19, 2018

Sunday was Father's Day and it was a real pleasure to see that fathers are celebrated all over Jamaica.

From the various tributes posted on social media to the features on traditional media, fathers were really the highlight of the day.

I am happy to say that I have noticed a remarkable difference with how fathers are celebrated in recent years. There is usually a complaint by fathers who lament that mothers are always celebrated but good fathers are not.

There is still the debate about the idea that mothers are also playing the roles of fathers where there is not an active father in a child's life.

I spent some time observing some of the comments on the social media posts and some persons, mostly men, were very offended by posts that imply that mothers can "father" a child.

I found it interesting to see how passionate these comments get and I think there are valid arguments on both sides.

Personally, I don't think mothers want to "father" their children but the fact is so many women are raising their children without the presence of a father.

We cannot deny that for a variety of reasons, so many men have not participated actively as fathers.

I want to take this moment to really celebrate and encourage the men who are currently actively participating in their children's lives.

I am especially proud of the example being represented by the fathers in dancehall and how much they share with their families.

I love the way that the outlook on fatherhood is adjusting and I think that it can get better. I am also very aware that there are still so many men who are not active parts of their children's lives.

The reasons are wide and varied but the effect of absentee fathers on the child is clear. From their behaviour to their ability to concentrate on their education, the effects are mostly negative.

Fatherhood is a topic that I think we don't place enough focus on.

I think as a society that we have allowed too many fathers to get away from their responsibility and accepted too little from them.

So many of us have accepted that once a man is providing financial support, then they are doing their jobs and that's enough.

We have to do more to help men be better fathers and we have to encourage more involvement with their children.

I recognise that this is a challenging issue and it will take the participation of all involved to get a better understanding with the best welfare of the child in mind.

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