Male children are valued in most parts of the world. One reason is that the male child carries the seed for the next generation of human species. Consequently, a woman bears the name of her father and when she gets married, just as the father gives her away, she takes on the husband’s name and drops the father’s name. Some schools of thought may debate this age-old tradition which has been passed on from generation to generation till date but I do not really see the point in arguing.
My beef is how we, as parents can raise our male children with fatherhood in mind. In other words how do we prepare our boys to become real fathers to father both girls and boys and to make each generation better than the previous one.
In Part I of the series titled “The Boy is a Father” I would be sharing some thoughts on how boys can be nurtured with fatherhood in mind.
A SON IS BORN
Boys are different from girls and should be nurtured a touch differently. Although there seem to be no glaring difference during conception, pregnancy and the first few years of their existence, soon the differences start showing by the way boys and girls play and what takes their attention.
Notwithstanding the differences between boys and girls, there are character traits that should be imparted into them across the board. These include discipline, humility, courage, faithfulness, hard work, respect for human dignity, just to mention a few.
The boy must be raised in preparation to be a father. It is therefore imperative to allow boys to learn basic survival acts that would imbue them with a sense of purpose and a fighting spirit. For instance boys should be allowed some level of freedom and space to learn how to fall and rise up, how to dare, how to take risk, how to make mistakes, accept them and correct them without lingering too much on the mistakes made but on the lessons learnt and the solution thereof.
Howbeit, guidance should be at the periphery to protect the daredevils. The liberty to allow boys to explore their environment, their ideas/creativity, strength and instinct without too much petting from mama helps to build a resolute character for fatherhood. On the flip side of the coin, mama’s petting is needed to impart the emotional sensitivity and compassion which helps the father to be to show love respect for humanity and appreciation of womanhood.
In light of the above, single parenting becomes a serious challenge and a departure from the status quo (what ought to be) i.e. father and mother together living with children. In our current dispensation where divorce has become a canker eating away the spirit of family life, alternatives have to be found so we do not lose entirely the true spirit of fatherhood.