Fatherhood is not a popularity contest

It is not compulsory my kids love me as long as I do what is right as a father.

I mean, I am not a dad, because I am contesting for the most loved father of the year award.

My duty is to ensure I groom children that will be responsible to themselves and the society.

Therefore, sometimes their opinion will not count. Sometimes their choices are not considered.

However, because they want to be seen as the real cool or trendy dad, many fathers fail in their responsibilities.

Many fathers avoid scolding their wards because they are scared.

Doing this, the children will hate and abandon them when they are old.

Tobi

When my beautiful daughter was fifteen, she asked.

“Dad can I pierce my ear?”

I said to her, ‘Oh I thought they’re already’ Stifling a laugh, she replied,

‘No dad, I mean can I pierce another one?’

Yes I replied. ‘That is if your mum pierced more than one’.

She wore a straight face for a little while but minutes later, we became best friends again and the topic never resurfaced.

Here in Europe, most teenage girls do not even seek permission to have their ears pierced multiple times even in weird places.

Usually, this is a reflection of background and relationship. Many dad noticed but either don’t care or simply look the other way.

From her early teens, I often told Eniola about her heritage. You are Yoruba, I ring it to her ears. You are not European.

Furthermore, you come from a nation with rich cultural values and expectations especially from a girl child. I take time to explain these expectations.

However, to feel loved, modern and western, many fathers especially those living here in Europe, look the other way when their kids begin to adopt a strange behaviour.

Some fathers cannot even look straight in the eye of their kids and take a firm action.

Today, even thirteen-year-old girls run around the streets clad in almost nudity.

Why would an underage wear padded bra or underwear? They want to look sexy for whom?

Many fathers heartily welcome to their homes, boyfriends or girlfriends of their sixteen-year-olds.

If I did that at sixteen, I had my dad to contend with. He didn’t hate me.

The truth is, we fail in our duties as responsible dad, and citizen when we raise children who become problems in the society eventually.

Do what you should do as a father, when these kids become adult they will thank, and love you for enforcing restrictions and being firm. They will carry the tradition.

Last Christmas, my son Tobi said, dad can I have a white air force one trainer for my birthday and Christmas? How much? I asked.

One hundred and twenty euro. I could squeeze that, but I said sorry I will give you fifty. Get something that covers that.

Don’t always give children what they want even if you can afford it. This does not make you mean or bad.

The reality of life is that we cannot always get what with want. Teach them that early.

Like I said, fatherhood is not about playing to the gallery of children. Neither is it a popularity contest.

Tunde Jakande

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