Fathers of the Caribbean : Happy Fathers Day
The Caribbean Is One Nation.
Caribbean fathers should be pampered today, Fathers’ Day, by the boys, men, women and girls in their lives. So often we hear the term “Daddy’s girl” because there is the belief that little girls cling to their daddies and never let them go when they become women. Amazingly both boys and girls seem to cling to their grand daddies. Boys can’t wait to refer to their father as the “old man’ and many men are known to be very nervous and emotional when they are called to “give away their “little girl’, to the new man- the husband. Many men look forward to that first beer with their “boy”.
These little traditions are the more pleasant and indeed funny sides of being a father and those men who have experienced them, would admit that such memories never leave and in times of more unpleasant challenges, they are what keep them calm and patient. They help in conquering and surviving the rough times that can invade fatherhood.
Caribbean fathers have seen their role in family life radically change during the last fifty years. It seems as if the new independence era also produced a new independent woman. More women have joined the work force and in many regional countries, they are more females enrolled in higher institutions of learning than men. There is also the perception that the high influx of female teachers especially at the primary school level, has favored girls. We should not ignore the position that co-education and higher levels of females in the system has psychologically made our boys less aggressive and victims of female intimidation.
Men are confronting this new reality by forming organizations that promote a better system for dealing with conflicts in such areas as visitation in relation to their children, who are living with their mothers because of divorce or any other issue. These organizations strongly opine that men are given the short end of the stick in these matters and that some aspects of family law are designed to put them at a disadvantage.
It is therefore quite safe to suggest that our Caribbean fathers and men in general are caught in the centre of gender equality issues as they witness the progress of women in the work place and at the political level. They have seen at least four women become Prime Ministers. Politics seems to be the last bastion dominated by men and as more women enter the political ring, it will inevitably crumble.
We suggest that men should not allow the emerging new Caribbean society to inhibit them from pursuing fatherhood with a passion. We urge our fathers to remember the simple things; take your children to the beach and let them frolic; attend and participate in PTAs; try enjoying more domestic chores around the home; keep all lines of communication open ; always respect the women in your lives; be valiant in keeping yourselves employed to support your families; be respectful of your children’s space and ideas and be firm but fair in discipline without violence such as beatings. Remember that the good fathers try to create activities that become memories forever.
Happy Father’s Day to all or Caribbean brothers!