Madam Olieh/New York
“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right.” – Wade Boggs
Today, I would be talking about the importance and role of a Daddy in a child’s life. Do you know that many children have missed it, failed in life, ended up in jail, gone into prostitution, robbery, ritual killing all because they never had a positive father figure in their life.
When kids are growing up they see their parents as the only role models they know. They are what they see and that is what is stored up subconsciously.
They want to speak, talk and act like their parents and when all they see and know is one of the parent there is vacuum in their minds and it could be filled by that ‘missing link’.
In today’s case, that missing link is the Daddy. Why Daddy and not father? A father is any man who has child (maybe he wants it or not) but a Daddy is the man in the life of the child.
As a teacher with over 20 years experience, I have learnt that most children that struggle in school or have emotional complex either come from broken homes, live with their mother, grandmother or even a guardian.
Don’t get me wrong, the kid is not any different from other kids, only that they cannot share memories and experiences of the other kids. They do not know what it is like to have their Daddy take them to the cinema, or go shopping, or go to a fast-food restaurant.
They cannot contribute in conversations when other kids are saying “My Daddy did this or my Daddy did that” because they don’t have those stories.
And that is why men should sit back and reflect on how much involvement they have in their kid’s life especially the formative years.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to work and make money but that should not replace your responsibility in the lives of your children.
Overtime I have discovered that kids who have both their parents paying attention to them have an edge in school over others because there are little distractions for them. That does not mean they are more brilliant or intelligent but it gives them more self-confidence.
The last case study I did on some children between the ages of 7 and 8 showed us that the children that have their Daddy around are more focused than those without their Daddy, that is not to say that some children without a father figure don’t make it, but the numbers are less.
In Africa we have a culture of polygamy which can affect any child. A child needs a role model yes, Mummy would always be there but she cannot play the role of Daddy no matter how well she plays that role. How do we now expect the father to show love when he has many wives and children? He would only love the child that excels academically or in other respect of life.
In today’s technology-driven world, children see all sorts of things and crave all sorts of things. They have questions, they have desires, they have lust but who do they turn to, their parents and a Daddy is an integral part of parenthood.
Many children have missed it because of this vacuum. Well I guess we would continue to discuss the importance of the fatherly role in every child.
Some attitude and behavioural patterns to look out for in any child are bottled-up hatred, anger, strife, jealousy, envy, bitterness, aggressiveness, covetousness and negative computation.
Also look out for times and instances when a child is withdrawn and try to find out why your child have got mood swings. This will help them overcome difficulties.
To be continued next week
Madame Olieh is an educator, child psychologist and French tutor. She wrote in from New York, US
You can reach her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org