Thu | Sep 21, 2017

For the forgotten fathers

Published:Sunday | June 19, 2016 | 6:00 AMMelville Cooke

I consider myself a pretty good father (that is unreserved self-praise). I have been there from the plus sign on the pregnancy test through to feeding, diaper changing, washing clothes, reading stories, doctor visits, romping, school fees, hugs, and the works. Heck, I used to write a Daddy's Diary in this magazine about the joyful experience.

Each time we half-heartedly mark another Father's Day, I wonder how many good men have been deliberately made into bad fathers by persons who want to hurt them, very often a woman. With the bad rep that fathers already get in this country, any terrible tale gets a listening ear, even though I have found that people have become more discerning.

The worst thing that can be done to a man who wants to be a good father is to damage his relationship with his offspring. Ranking right up there with taking the children away from him physically is humiliating him in their presence. The stereotypical consistent reference to "yu dutty, wukless puppa" encapsulates the different ways of capturing his lack of responsibility.

 

CREATIONS OF PEOPLE

 

But how many of the men so described are actually so, and how many of them are creations of people especially women who wish to hurt them by playing into a well-established template and are very willing to hurt the children in the process? And these are the persons who would then establish close bonds with the children who they have damaged by removing a decent father from their lives, or lessening their regard for him by giving him the 'bway' treatment.

For the sake of the children, it is most likely the decent men who will try to ride out the storm, to run the gauntlet of humiliation which trying to interact with their children sometimes involved.

There are horrible fathers, sperm donors or whatever they are berated as. But there is real wickedness to men who earnestly want to be good fathers. Believe me, I know. Consider these things today.

Happy Father's Day to all a de good man whe people tell lie pon.

melville.cooke@gleanerjm.com