Nobody can replace you

29 May 2019 | Columns

Being a parent is hard.

Parents have to be caregivers, sociologists and psychologists - among others - all rolled into one.

Being a single parent is even more difficult.

There may be unresolved feelings and ongoing issues with your former spouse or partner. The two of you may have different opinions on how the child should be raised and what rules to follow. That is the one side of the coin, where there is a continued grappling about what is best for your offspring. The other side is when a parent simply abandons a child or wholly fails to give support of any kind. It was with a sense of heightened excitement that we greeted the news this week that the grim uphill battle faced by many single parents, who are fighting for child support through maintenance courts in Namibia, is set to be eased substantially with the appointment of ten maintenance investigators in nine towns by July. Sporadic or no child support is a massive issue when it comes to poverty and lack of comfort for children. But child support is about so much more than money. Your children need your presence in their lives. You can share your wisdom and experiences with them, and teach them the things they need to learn about life. They need to learn morals, traditions and values. As many experts have opined, children learn about the meaning of unconditional love and how they should be treated from their parents. Nobody else can replace you when it comes to your love. In the case of the father, he generally serves as the gatekeeper for the rest of his family. So when he isn’t around for his children, his parents and siblings may feel awkward about having to explain his absence to his children or their mother. There should be no excuses for abandoning your children. The motto should always be: Try, try again and keep trying.