I read somewhere once that anyone can be a father but that it takes someone special to be a dad. I couldn’t agree more. And what exactly does this mean? Well, by definition, a father is a man who is the parent of a human being, or a male animal that has produced offspring. Hmmm. And for that we celebrate?
A dad on the other hand isn’t just the person who pays the bills and fixes stuff in the house. Nope, times have changed and in fact, mums do those things now too. Actually, the more I think about it and the more I watch my kids growing up, the more I notice that each kid needs their dad in different ways. Because as much as we’re all into equality and not being old-fashioned in our thinking, there are certain things mums give to their kids that dads can’t and likewise for dads.
So then children need both their parents so that they take from each of them something that rounds them off, that completes them, that polishes them and gives them direction in their lives. Dads are the guys who teach their kids how to survive if they were ever stranded on an island. They’re also the ones who decide if we should get an inverter or a generator to deal with load shedding. They know the difference between torque and horsepower, anthracite and coal and where to buy those pocket knives in case we ever need to cut each other’s limbs off due to a venomous snake bite. They wrestle with the boys and play house with the girls. They put together tents and book shelves. (I can do it too, I just pretend.)
On a serious note though, I think a dad, or should I say a present dad, is one who teaches his children about respecting yourself and others. Teaches them about what’s important in life and how to accomplish goals. That trust is earned and that ambition gets you places, but never at the expense of someone else. That hard work never killed anyone and neither did your mum brushing your hair. A dads love and care could be, in my opinion, that one factor that changes the life course of a child. Because if a child is given that, in unconditional terms, there’ll never be a need to look for it in the wrong places. There won’t be a need to experiment or get caught up in things that will negatively impact on his/her life. There will be confidence, self-worth, determination and more.
This article was originally written for Jozikids by Fatima Kazee in 2015.
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