Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Good fathers deserve a badge of honour

Published:Sunday | June 16, 2024 | 12:07 AMKerry-Ann Kerr-Williams - Contributor

FATHER’S DAY is an important day to recognise how special fathers and father figures are in the society. Whether Father’s Day is celebrated by gift giving, frolicking with dad, enjoying beer and snacks like the Germans, or even spending quality time at church or on the beach, respect is due to dads.

Undoubtedly, fathers are the backbone towards creating healthy family structures. Therefore, it is very important for fathers to play an important role in establishing healthy families. The nuclear family comprises mother, father, and children, where the father plays the dominant role. “Statistics reveal that single parenting is most prevalent in the Western world. While China, Nigeria, and India report three per cent, four per cent, and five per cent single parenting homes, respectively, the USA has 23 per cent of their households being single-parented. In Jamaica, an estimated 47 per cent of homes are single-parent homes, led by biological mothers” ( The jfa Human Rights Journal, 2021).

Despite these statistics, we celebrate fathers who are part of the population which is geared at decreasing the stigma attached to this ‘fatherless society’. This article seeks to highlight three vital characteristics of a ‘good’ father, namely: being loving, supportive, and self-aware.

Many fathers are lauded for providing sacrificial love for their children in spite of various obstacles.

• A father’s love was described by a mother of three, who indicated that she was raised at age 11 with her brother, by their father after the separation of their parents. Despite the fact that their father lost his father when he was young, his love for them was sacrificial. They never saw their father take a woman to their house; he taught them self-care practices; he was the first person to purchase female products for his daughter; and he gifted them with property from his father’s inheritance. Additionally, the mother shared how loving her husband is towards his stepdaughter. He is forgiving and supports anything concerning her welfare.

• Recently, a single-parent father was seen kissing his son as he ushered him into the school compound. When asked about this kiss, the father stated that showing affection is important to children as this is needed to build their self-esteem.

A supportive father is one who ensures that he goes beyond his core responsibilities as provider, protector, and priest in the home.

• A widower shared that a father’s duty is to maintain and support his children in every way. Albeit that some fathers are involved in their children’s lives for future returns, his perspective in supporting his children, is for them to have the very best experience as they evolve. As a father, he believes that because he participated in bringing these children into the world, a solid foundation is needed for their preparation to ‘leave the nest’. This father’s strong leadership qualities enable him to communicate instructions lovingly yet firmly. As a father figure at work, he uses principles from the Bible and moral values to effect change in some of his employees’ misguided pattern of fatherhood.

Self-aware fathers recognise their strengths and weaknesses, and they are driven by self-improvement.

• A father of three recently explained his relationship with his father when he was young. He mentioned that his siblings were afraid of their father, but he was brave to question him out of curiosity. In turn, he realised why his father operated the way he did. It was from learning about survival tactics from his father that enabled him to operate the way he does as his intelligence is described by many as unique.

With the above-mentioned qualities that speak about fathers, it is high time that the badge of honour be bestowed upon those who have displayed true qualities of fatherhood. Happy Father’s Day!

Kerry-Ann Kerr-Williams is an educator.