We need a better generation

18 March 2019 | Opinion

Psychological research has indicated that children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections. The data indicates that the way fathers play with their children has an important impact on a child's emotional and social development. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behaviour.

Moreover, children with involved, caring fathers also have better educational outcomes. The influence of a father's involvement extends into adolescence and young adulthood. Numerous studies have found that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents.

The role of the father in the family cannot be over-emphasised.

We welcome the exhibition that put the spotlight on fathers who are actively involved in their children's lives. It was held for four days at Okuryangava and closed yesterday. Of concern however, is that involved fathers are often mocked and are called 'bewitched'.

This is the Namibia we find ourselves in. Our fathers are absent, temporary, abusive and more. More than 70 000 cases of gender-based violence were reported over the last three years and the main perpetrators? Men. During April last year, we reported that there were more than 15 000 defaulters on maintenance with more than 31 000 cases before the country's magistrate courts.

It is utterly unacceptable that men can make babies and simply walk away without a care in the world. And it is about far more than money. Our children are growing up without male role models. And those that they do see, invariably do not lead by example.

Is it any wonder then that our children are being raped, our women are being beaten, and raped, and the core family unit in this country is all but non-existent?

Children will not emulate what you tell them. They will emulate what you do.

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