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Fatherhood Alive & Well


February 15, 2021 | Hopeton O’Connor Dennie |

There is much speculation that deadbeat dad’s are on the rise. This may have been a scar in the not so distant past. Alas! The contrary picture seem to be emerging today. It is not immediately clear if the media’s role in highlighting this problem has been changing this perception.  One think that is not in dispute is that many fathers have been embracing their rightful role as protectors and nurturers.  More and more there are public sightings of father’s taking their toddlers to nurseries, walking them to the park and sharing in other activities normally left to females.   Caring dads seem to be invading the domain of mothers and female caregivers or female relatives.
In Jamaica there is a new radio programme called “Jamaican Dadz”. In a nutshell (4) four dads for half an hour each week share their experiences as dad’s. One is married and is also a government Minister,  the other three are single dads.  It is raising the profile of dads in our country.
Parenting seminars
These parenting seminars seem to have been the focus in many social intervention programme, geared at improving family life. The results seem to be bearing fruit.  One bold mother of two reported that her child’s father watches the baby while she prepares breakfast for school. ” This really takes the stress off me”  she confides.
Some times frustrated moms take out their stress and frustration on their partners. This can even lead to physical confrontations.
Will mothers and caregivers feel threatened by this new role our men are taking on?  We hope not. It is supposed to be a healthy and welcomed sign.  Family life will be enhanced and this could lead to less dysfunctional households and fewer delinquent children who end up in state care or foster homes.  It really warmed my heart to see this couple and their little one with the Father as stated above, pushing the pram.  The weather was perfect and the baby seemed to be enjoying it all. Good job dad!
This is the image we what to see of our dads playing their roles in keeping their families together.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a veteran journalist and family man. He  has an international exposure.

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