My man may not make a good father


April 22, 2016

Dear Pastor,

I am a lover of your column and have written to you before. Thanks for the advice. It has made a difference in my relationship.

On another note, I have watched my boyfriend over the last year and have realised he is not a father figure.

I must say, being with a man with close to 10 children is a red flag but he has been a great man to me. We have come a long way and the road has been rocky.

My concern is that we are expecting a child and am afraid of the father he is going to be. We have one of his children living with us. The child is in primary school. I met my boyfriend when the child was in grade four. He is going to grade six soon.

I am ashamed to say he hasn't been to a Parent Teacher Association meeting since I have known him.

I have been looking in the child's book and have realised that since September 2015, his writing books are fairly new. It's like he is going to school once per month because that's how his works are dated.

The last time I helped him with his homework, I had to be over him with the belt to get the answers.

It's like his brain only functions when he gets a spanking or is about to. After the homework, I spoke to him. I asked him if he was mad at me. He said yes because I am not his mother so I shouldn't talk to him, care about him or spank him. I told his father and all he could say was that he is just a child.


My recent book check was same as always so I told him to write me an essay on, Why do I go to School. I sat down with his father to read it together and discuss the matter but all my reading was in vain because he wasn't even listening. His interest was in watching the television.

The child didn't write what I asked. I got upset so I closed the book and went to our room. I told him if he is not showing interest in his child I don't see why I should.

I just don't know what to do in this situation. I want to be there but how can I mother a child that isn't biologically mine when his biological father isn't playing his role very well? What makes matters worse is that the child doesn't want me to speak to him or respect my point of view because if he asks me for something and I say no, he secretly asks his father and he is not going to tell him no.

He has no discipline, towards him and I believe that because I'm the only one who initiates discipline when necessary, he holds that against me. I am getting frustrated about the matter and don't want it to reach the point where I shut the child out. Please, I would appreciate your advice on this matter.


Dear M,

If you are to help this child, you must get the cooperation of his father and he should show more interest in his son.

On the other hand, you have to realise your approach in correcting this child or assisting him in his school work is wrong. A child should never be spanked for not doing well in his lessons. It might make him more nervous and rebellious.

Some children are slow learners. Spanking will not help them to improve. When a child is a slow learner it does not mean he is worthless or a good-for-nothing child. Neither does it mean he will never learn.


What it means is that his approach to learning is different. Sometimes parents and teachers have to realise that the way of teaching him/her has to be different.

I am wondering whether this child should be accessed to ascertain whether he has some learning disability. You should talk to his teachers about his conduct in school. Ask them for advice. They would tell you what type of student he is in school.

His father should also play a more active role in the young man's education. Therefore, you ought not to become so frustrated that you are willing to give up on him. The child needs to be told by his father that he has to have respect for you but you, too, must be very careful what you say to the child.

He knows you are not his mother but you have to treat him well and win over his love. Spanking will cause him to hate you because he sees spanking to do his lessons as punishment.

You are carrying a child for this man. You give the impression this would be his 10th child. If he is not such a good father, how did you agree to have a child by him? Remember, whether you like it or not, you are going to have to play the role of stepmother to this young man and look forward to bringing into this world his brother or sister. Your man will not allow you to abuse his son so try your best to be nice and spend some time watching over him. See that he does his lessons without making a big fuss.

Ask your man to speak to the child concerning his attitude towards you but do so in a very soft and caring manner. Your man will appreciate that.


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