Lifestyle

We Need Our Fathers by Abigail Thomas

Sunday, June 16, 2019

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When I think about most of the families in Jamaica I see the picture of a mother and her children. Where are the fathers? Some fathers do not know of the existence of their children or some just choose to be missing. There is a common misconception that the role of a mother is of far greater importance than a father's, but the truth is fathers play a role that is just as significant as mothers. Fathers and mothers play different roles in a household. Traditionally, a mother is to be the caretaker, the nurturer, while the father is to be the provider and protector. A father's role is also specific to his children, depending on their gender. For a daughter, a father should be the perfect example of what her ideal husband should be and how she should be treated. For a son, a father should be the perfect example of what a man ought to be. The absence of fathers in the household has had detrimental consequences to both daughters and sons. There are daughters who end up in relationships that do more harm than good for them because of the absence of that perfect example. There are sons in gangs because of the missing figure that they yearn for that they have found in the “don man”. In contrast, however, there are daughters who have found better than their fathers and sons who have become the difference to their children.

The family is the base of the society, therefore a lot of the problems we have in our Jamaican society stem from the household and the absence of fathers. The image that warms my heart the most is of a father and his daughter or son laughing or smiling together. As a country we have to emphasise the importance of the role of a father in the household especially for the betterment of the nation. Children who have grown up without fathers tend to have psychological consequences that contribute to leading a life of crime. Studies have shown that children who have grown up without fathers tend to be more aggressive because of the harboured anger and resentment they feel towards their fathers for abandoning them and their mothers. Aggression can lead to crime and violence; this is one of the many reasons why Jamaica is riddled with crime.

Many children call their fathers “Superman” because of their heroic capabilities whether it be protecting their children from danger, providing for their basic needs or giving them the love and support they need. Fathers are not solely superheroes to their children but also to the nation. Their presence prevents children from walking down the wrong path which further leads to less destruction in our country. What our country needs is not more law enforcement but rather a stronger family structure for children to develop in a way that fosters growth. This Father's Day I salute the fathers who give the most that they can give to their children and who continue to love and support their children in whichever way they can. I implore all children to cherish their fathers and to be grateful for what they have been given. Happy Father's Day!

 

Eighteen-year-old Abigail Thomas is a graduate of Campion College and Hillel Academy

 

Information courtesy of https://www.pediatricsoffranklin.com/resources-and-education/pediatric-care/the-importance-of-a-father-in-a-childs-life/


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