18 June 2018

Ghana: Happy Father's Day - Let's Learn to Build Responsible Families

analysis

Ghanaians yesterday joined the rest of the World to mark Father's Day. Fathers across the world were sent well wishes. In this technological age, social media was inundated with best wishes from children and well wishers to their fathers.

History has it that Father's Day celebration originated in Washington when, an American, Sonora Smart Dodd, after listening to the sermon in the church in 1909, came out with the idea of celebrating and honouring her father in like manner.

Consequently, the concept gained worldwide recognition and since 1910 to date, June 19 every year, is celebrated as Father's Day. Other countries chose to celebrate Father's Day on the third Sunday of the month of June.

Indeed, fathers, just like mothers need to be celebrated for their roles in procreation to keep the human race growing. Parents (father and mother) play crucial roles in the upbringing of children to become responsible citizens in the society.

It is an undeniable fact that a father is affectionate, supportive, and involved, he can contribute greatly to the child's cognitive, language and social development as well as the academic performance.

It is also a fact of life that human beings learn by modeling behaviour; implying that all primates learn how to survive and function successfully in the world through social imitation.

It has been established also through research, that, a child's primary relationship with his/her father can affect all of the child's relationship from birth to death.

Furthermore, research has shown that girls who have good relationship with their fathers perform better in Math and boys who have actually involved fathers tend to have better grades and perform better in achievement tests.

Again, it is believed that boys will model themselves after their father. They will imitate the father and look up to him for approval in everything. They tend to imitate and copy those behaviours that they recognise as both successful and familiar and imbibe them.

If, for instance, the father was abusive, controlling and domineering, the children were likely to imitate those traits. However, if the father is loving, kind, supportive, and protective, boys will learn to adopt and imbibe such characters.

It is against this backdrop that we strongly back the celebration of responsible fathers for their roles in the institution of family. No doubt, responsible fathers are an asset to their families and they are the ones that must be honoured.

Unfortunately, there are many other fathers who have shirked their responsibilities and abandoned their families. Those fathers deserve condemnation rather than praise.

The celebration must not be for every fathers: but responsible fathers. Indeed, a strong bond and responsible parenthood is key to building a strong society that can stand the test of time. Certainly, the good people in society are a reflection of responsible parentage.

And while we celebrate, let us use the occasion to embrace family planning services to ensure that we have the number of children we wish to have and can better care for to avoid having so many children we cannot take care of. Otherwise those we cannot take care of end up in the streets as child beggars and child labourers which is as a result of irresponsible parenting. Belated Happy Father's Day!

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