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Opinions of Monday, 20 June 2016

Columnist: Anthony Annan

God bless all wonderful fathers

The first event to honour fathers took place in the United States of America, on June 19, 1910. Since then, the third Sunday of June each year has become institutionalised, worldwide, as FATHER’S DAY. Interestingly, it is exactly 106 years, today, when the pivotal role of fatherhood in parenting or child-upbringing was first celebrated.

It is equally remarkable to observe that Father’s Day was instituted after Mother’s Day had taken place. The coming into existence of both events resulted from the gratitude and appreciation shown by two young girls for their respective single parents’ commitment in raising them.

The impression created in some quarters that fathers are ‘irresponsible’, and that mothers carry the entire burden from conception, to nursery and nurture of children into adulthood, is not only unfortunate but also erroneous.

It is a very popular notion that human affection for mothers should generally be stronger than for their male counterparts. However, there should be no qualms about that, if we consider the attachment and growth of a foetus in the mother’s womb for an average of nine months.

Fathers’ Days are meant to recall the critical roles most men play in their marital lives, as husbands. Responsible fatherhood begins with journeying with one’s spouse through the period of a spouse’s pregnancy to post-natal and, in fact, all the facets of the lives of their children.

A father requires balancing or combining various skills and attitudes in the discharge of his onerous responsibilities.

Fathers are the family heads who nurture their offspring and other dependants into responsible citizens of the future. They perform such major roles by which they strive to unite individuals of different temperaments to co-exist and grow under the same roof.

As persons of influence over others under our custody, fathers and mothers, together, are expected to be their children’s first teachers.

They discharge these life-long series of responsibilities and roles in faithfulness, affable resourcefulness, organisation, sacrifices, risks and diligence, without complaining or grumbling.

In a nutshell, fathers satisfy the physical, mental, psycho-social and emotional needs of their children. That is why we need the cooperation and collaboration of our wives to impart acceptable and priceless values and time-tested principles to our children, through sustained guidance, encouragement and discipline.

This is the essence of parenting as a mutual and shared responsibility. In the long run, there can be no such thing as a loving husband who is not also a wonderful father.

God bless all loving husbands and wonderful fathers.