Truly, mother is gold and her love is unquantifiable. However, father is the mirror of life through which the child is moulded and the society sees the child for whom he is. In fact, fathers bring the values, mothers develop them. Although, Mother’s Day and love are more celebrated and glamourised than father’s, the fact is that there couldn’t have been a mother without a father. As such, the world celebrates them. Oluwatosin Omoniyi writes
A n adage has it that ‘gold of life becomes meaningless and useless when a mother dies and the mirror of life sinks once a father dies.’ In other words, a father’s love, affection and care are priceless and inestimable like those of a mother. Truth is, a father’s ( especially father of nowadays) love to his children especially girl-child is as intoxicating as a drunk man’s act.
To most people New Telegraph spoke to, the above adjectives may not be apt for fathers of those days whose ways of showing masculinity is by being hard, stubborn and extremely strict.
Victor Adedoja, a customer relation officer with a telecom company narrated to New Telegraph a harrowing experience he had from his daddy 43 years ago. According to Adedoja fondly called Doja by his friends, there was no relationship between him and his daddy till his father passed away. “I just couldn’t fake it. Even when I have come of age and tried to reason with some of his ways or reasons, I still could not bring myself to love him like my mother. In fact, I never forgave him till his death and no remorse feeling about that,” he said.
Doja may have expressed that bitterness because of his father’s strictness. He narrated that at the sound of his father’s car, himself and his siblings would scamper for safety in the corner of their rooms till the following morning when they would gather for family prayer. At that prayer meeting, he said failure to shout aloud ‘Amen’ at the top of their voices, would attract lashes of cane to their backs. And during play time, they (his friends and siblings) would have to play in hush voices, according to Doja. He added that whenever his father was canning anyone of them and his mother tried to intervene, he would cane her inclusive and in most cases, he would divert the anger to her blaming her for their mistakes. For Doja, the most painful aspect of growing up with his dad was watching helplessly his father beating his mother and throwing her properties outside their home. “Whenever, he beats her, we would be forced to sleep in our neighbours’ houses,” he said. Nevertheless, all that is in the past, still Doja finds it difficult to let bygone be bygone even when the man is late four years ago.
For Segun Michael, an Educationist, 46, life was unbearable 22 years ago. According to him, it got to a point he ran away from home but a Good Samaritan took him home. “Whenever I was on holiday, I hated going home because of my father. I would plead with the school authority to keep me back and tell my parents that I needed to catch up in some subjects. I lied though, my mother knew it was a lie but that was a secret between us. She knew life was hell on earth for us including her but it was tougher for me among my siblings,” he said. For not washing his father’s car, Michael said he would get about four strokes of cane or for mistakenly breaking a glass cup or plate, he would do about 100 frog jumps- this way, he alleged that his father would say the punishment is equivalent to the price of the mistakes.
Michael and Doja were just the few out of many who had it rough with their fathers.
For Kemi Bibiresanmi, a lecturer and a farmer, her father was a fantastic and super father. She eulogized that her knew his responsibility. He rarely used the rod on them though we feared him. “But if he had to beat us, know that the offence was really bad and we deserved to be beaten. He made sure we never lack anything. He was loving and caring. He loved and cherished our mothers- they were two. This way, he earned our respect,” she said. Bibiresanmi added that the educated fathers of then were even more loving and honest than the fathers of nowadays.- (THIS IS THE QUOTE).
However, “I join the world to celebrate our fathers, whether good or bad, they remain the mirror through which we the children shine, they remain the caps on our heads,” she said.
It would be only natural for Gbemiga Ogunleye, Provost Nigerian Institute of Journalism to be his children’s best friend. “My children are my friends, we relate as friends right from when they babies. They are free to voice their opinions,” he explained. He added that it is perhaps a human nature to replicate what one does not like, “what I don’t like as a child, I made sure I don’t repeat it to my children,” he said.
Explaining further, he said it is just not wise to use wisdom of yesterday to bring up children of today that are already exposed to technology and culture of the western world.
Fathers of old, he explained were seen to be tough and hard towards children and wives, it was simply their own way of showing masculinity. This point, he said played out in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, especially to central character of the novel-Okonkwo.
Differentiating further between today’s father and of the old, Ogunleye said that today’s father are better exposed and probably better educated than their own fathers. He said he does not expect today’s fathers to relate with their own children in this day and age the way their fathers related with them. Having pointed that out, “We should not forget that today’s mothers are not full time house wives, they are educated, exposed and civilized. They too played a significant role in determining how a father relates with his children.
A Lagos based pastor Wale Adefarasin, founder of Guiding Light Assembly, told New Telegraph that a father is first and foremost tied to his family, as such, he must be humble, sensitive and empathic so as to be able to detect when something goes. He also must be strong in order to withstand storm of life, according to pastor Wale.
Scott Kelby, a blogger and author stated other ways of being a fantastic father.
Be affectionate with your baby, especially as they get older. Kids need love, but they don’t understand the word “love” on any level. You might as well use the term “phalanges” with them because, to an infant, it means the same thing — nothing. So holding your baby and telling her, “Daddy loves you,” is pretty much meaningless.
But you know what kids do understand — a loving touch. Hugging them, snuggling them, and kissing them makes them feel loved. It’s a basic way humans communicate love, but some fathers feel awkward showing love in this way. Get over it. A kid needs to feel loved, always, and you have within your power a guaranteed way to make them know they’re loved. A kid that knows they’re loved is a happy kid — the kind of kid that runs and jumps into your arms when they see you.
Treat your kid the way you wanted to be treated when you were a kid. Take a look back on how you were raised. Look back at how your dad showed, or didn’t show, his love for you. How he disciplined you, encouraged you, criticized you, and molded you. If you had a great dad, now’s your chance to take everything he showed you and put it to good use.
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