I want to talk to fathers. Current fathers, future fathers and everyone who cares to read this piece of fresh thought. It’s not fresh because of absolute novelty, or particular uniqueness, but because I haven’t read it anywhere. It will be based on observation and opinions that can hold some reliable informative capacity.
To all the fathers who have stood the test of time and held high the noble responsibility of fatherhood, receive my sincere respect and a generously served salute. It’s a big step that you haven’t given up on your family. It’s a milestone achievement that your children are getting paternal presence in your dutiful care—especially your sons. All men need proper fathering as they scale the ladder of manhood. On the same note, if the above doesn’t describe you, it’s not too late, you can change, however, remember we’re not excusing your revelry.
In a typical family set-up, the man is always in most cases the breadwinner. Even if he earns less than the wife, the man always provides and takes care of utility bills. On top of that, he has to handle school fees for the kids. All these leave most men drained and not ready to do much more. In fact, most men thump their chest after meeting the basic necessities in the sense of materials and tangibles. They expect their families to interpret that as love and they rest easy with some satisfaction of their great manly responsibilities.
But if you want to realise the challenge with this, then you only need to look at the lives of retired men and their mortality rates. Most men die earlier than their wives, especially after retiring. The reason is simple mostly due to neglect by spouse and children. Despite the fact that most men bear the brunt of sponsorship, their wives have their ways with the children and they become the greatest beneficiaries later in life. What makes the difference? What is it that women do that men do not do that makes the difference for the children?
- Fathers Are Feared.
Most fathers want to have their presence felt, not as the father you can tell anything, but as the big man whose presence makes people order their steps. They stamp their authority in the home and duly earn fear from everyone. Even in their absence, all offenders are threatened by the statement, “your will square it with your father”. Children grow up with a mindset that the father is supposed to be feared, and they end up not building a safe space where they can benefit from him as a father. As soon as they join the majority age, they run away to freedom from restraint and order. As a father, refuse to punish offences you didn’t witness. Remind your wife that she’s the deputy disciplinarian at home, and can equally deal with delinquency manifested in the children. Try to earn respect than force obedience through fear. It will make you their hero. Don’t be a boogieman father.
- Little things matter to Little People.
When I was in Highschool, most students preferred to have their mothers come over during their visiting days than their fathers. The reason is simple; fathers came with money and newspapers, but mothers came with homemade food and money. The food has made a big difference in the equation. Funny enough in most cases it is the father that funds all these, but the mother’s ability to prepare a sumptuous dish makes her favourite. Maybe we should learn that people do not need money, but what money can buy. While fathers feel good that they have paid the school fees worth $500, mothers will be loved more for pushing a $20 pocket money into their children’s hands as they leave for school. And dear father, all these are your money 😂. After paying school fees, give them a few bucks to keep them confident as they face the uncertain school environment.
- Fathers buy food, but do not serve the food.
Fathers buy food and the mother serves it to the children. Most children love food and find it a very good way to determine love. If you feed them, they conclude you love them the most. So let your children see that you care about them. In their mother’s presence or absence, surprise them with your favourite cuisine. Don’t prepare poorly, what their mother has been dressing nicely. Make them know that you’re concerned about them and would want to do more for them when the time is favourable. Even if you’re good at roasting corn 🌽, or simply boiling water 💧, they will love you for that. Do it nicely.
- Fathers Are Too Busy.
The fact that fathers are busy, is a genuine fact. They are busy searching for gold and silver to decorate life for their family and deserve a big congratulation for that. However, most fathers fail to realise that fatherhood goes above and beyond finances and sponsorship. Your children need to be fathered adequately. They are not supposed to know that they have a father, but they actually need to feel your presence in their lives. They crave your humours and involvement in their childish ephemerals. Your sons want to hear about your boyhood and unique experience in your generation. They find it so beautiful playing soccer with you. They would gladly go grazing the livestock were you to go with them. Don’t rob them of the privilege of benefitting from a good fathering.
- How you treat their mother.
Mothers are loved for nothing. The fact that they are mothers, is already a very big reason to love them. They have shared their lives with the children, and have been interacting with them nine months earlier than you. As soon as the children are born, they crave to be gathered in their mothers’ arms. Fathers must struggle to get the same attachments. Because their mother is precious to them, you must be careful how you treat her. If you ever lay your ill-trained finger on her, you automatically become their enemy, and they can’t wait to be big enough to protect her from your abuse. If you love her right, and they can see it, then you’ve won their love forever. After paying school fees, they want to see you loving their mother.
Fathers do a lot for their families and deserve a lot of gratitude for that. But fathers must not forget that little things matter to Little People. After carefully performing your responsibilities, don’t forget the little things that matter to little People.