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AWRIGHT DEN: Parents needed

Corey Worrell

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A secondary class of 30 students was asked: “By a raise of hands, how many of you live with both your mum and your dad?” Out of 30 students, less than 10 raised their hands.  The remaining students said they lived with their mums.
One of the male students was then asked: “What about your dad?” The student replied: “My father don’t check fuh me, he walked out on me and my mum when I was real small. I don’t care ’bout he. Actually, I hate my father.” The student was then asked: “Who told you this?” The student replied: “My mum, my auntie and my grandmother.” The student was then asked: “Have you ever heard your father’s side of the story?” With an expression of astonishment on his face, he softly and shyly said: “No”.
I believe there are many fathers in this country, who have been treated unfairly by their children’s mother and at times “the system”. They have had their children turned against them and as a result have had little or no relationship with them. I also believe that there are some fathers who have neglected their children and have shunned their responsibilities as a father.
I believe a child needs guidance and stability. Many children in this country spend weekdays with one parent, and weekends with the other. Sorry to say, but some fathers only get to see their children one day a week. Many may argue that both parents are raising the child, but I have a concern with this style of parenting.
Unless both parents have reached an agreement or are working together as a team in raising the child, there will be instability and confusion in that child’s life. Each individual parent will raise that child based on their belief system and their world view. There is no guarantee that the rules and regulations that the father has implemented will be accepted and practised by the mother. There is no guarantee that both parents will create an equally stable and consistent environment for that child. These are things that can be easily achieved within the original family structure
where father, mother and children live under the same roof and hopefully by the same essential agreements.
We have drifted so far from the fundamentals of family that our next generation of children will be so emotionally, psychologically and spiritually messed up. If you want proof that it has begun, take a trip into our public secondary schools and observe the behaviour and conversations
of the children.
 I don’t have any statistics, maybe CADRES can help, but I believe the number of single parent homes in this country is increasing at a ridiculous rate. Common and accepted phrases in our vocabulary are now: “my child mother”, “my child father”, “my mudda man” and “my fadda woman”. The concept of husband and wife is slowly fading and with it, the values of honour, trust and commitment.
In the last Sunday Sun, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart called “for an attitude that will see more fathers taking care of their children and a reduction in domestic violence”. I believe he should have called for an attitude to see more parents working together in the development and raising of their children and a reduction in selfish, immature, unforgiving and unprincipled adults.
Sometimes I wonder if we as adults are too hasty in jumping into relationships. From young, I had this concept that because a woman is a suitable girlfriend it doesn’t automatically make her a potentially good mother and equally, because a man is a good boyfriend, that doesn’t automatically make him a potentially good father. Men and women, I urge you to be vigilant and wise. If your spouse or partner has the characteristics of a pig, don’t be surprised when they raise your children to be piglets.
I have heard women say that they don’t need a man to help them raise a child. I have also lived to see that more and more of our nation’s children are lost, out of control, confused and untrained. Many of them lack purpose, and where purpose is unknown, abuse is inevitable.
Children need a father and a mother, but most of all they need parents.
• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth youth ambassador.

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