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Men We Have a Problem!

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Friday, August 30th, 2019

E yin daddy wa a ti ni problem o (Our daddy’s we have a problem), before you say I reject it in Jesus/Allah or Obatala’s name, let me conclude. Remember one of my articles where I mentioned a research I carried out, asking around 5000 adolescents about whom they want to die first between their dad and mom? Recall that majority (98%) wanted their dad to be the first to die. When I probed further the children said most of their fathers are wicked, their eyes are always “hard”, they can’t talk to them-not approachable, they are afraid of them, he doesn’t take care for us, he speaks abusively etc.

Three weeks ago I was invited by an organisation to speak at an event, the audience was a mixed- adolescents, parents, adults, youth, leaders of trade union and associations, clergy men from both faiths, government officials, nonprofits, private sector, small business owners and the media. As I was making my presentation I looked towards the side of the children and asked about 80 of them, how many of you like your daddy, please raise up your hand? None did. Alas that helped me to confirm my presentation as I was addressing parents on how best to ensure we have children that can fulfill their purpose.

As I got into my car, I got really worried and was waiting for me to get home and ask my son the same question. In the evening when I got home, myself, wife and son were in the kitchen and I asked son between myself and your mum whom do you like most, then my son played a fast one on me he said I can’t choose as I love you both! Now my problem is compounded, I have a diplomatic 9year old. What was I thinking! Was I expecting him to come all out to say it to my face or that of his mum whoever amongst us he loved most. Certainly those other children too wouldn’t have if their parents were in the room.

Now this takes me to the crux of the matter. Fathers do we have a problem? I think we do and our problem starts with how we treat our wives. I will explain but also choose my words carefully. I am learning that if you are able to satisfy your wife physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially your chances of being hated by your children are low because you will have a “defender of the universe” who would always tell your wards, no don’t say that about that your dad, he is caring and loving, he wants the best for you. If the opposite is the case you can be sure you will be “roasted” more than suya or asun.

Usually as fathers, because of the stress we face and sometimes our strategy for dodging some responsibilities we use unnecessary “ogboju” (barefaced- not sure this is the right word in English, let me know if you know the meaning in English) especially when we are broke. Majority of times we also transfer our anger and aggression to our children when the mother may have offended us. When our children are reported to us by their mother we are the ones that knows how to scold and beat even when their mother may have dealt with the issue, we sometimes don’t seem to be satisfied.

We hardly have the time or find the time to converse with our children, sometimes they can’t even step on our shoes without slapping them. Little mistakes can’t be overlooked. They also see how we treat their mother. Now this is not to say men should not discipline their children but can we do it in love? Can we stop irritating our children and our wives? Can we for once gbe agbara si le (relinquish power)! Can we lead the family without fear or cohesion but with empathy, kindness, understanding and motivation?

Ofcourse there are other family dynamics that determines why a father or mother may be loved and I am not generalizing but just trying to lay out the issues from where I stand, what I have seen, children I have spoken to, my experience while growing up amongst others. The list of reasons why we are not liked or loved as daddies can’t be endless. Can we start a national conversation about this here including how to address it, what do you think?

2 Responses

  1. I would really love it if fathers could come out to really talk about this because I will pick my mum 10 times over and really working on being a better father to my future kids.

  2. I think relationships generally are fostered by communications and most of us juts didn’t have that with our father. Hence, the seeming non-affections for fathers. So I think fathers should just do more in developing healthy relationships with their children with friendly conversations

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