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A dad’s tough love for sons

NATANGA SMITH, [email protected]

A dad’s tough love for sons

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Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6.

This IS A verse in the Bible in which Christopher Griffith strongly believes. “I told my sons I do not ever want to walk into a police station and see them,” he said. “I was brought up in a Christian household and I have brought them up the same way. There are a lot of things I have seen happen in society . . . . The good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent. I make sure I speak to them sternly . . . how to avoid certain environments.”

Griffith can speak from a position of authority; after all, he has been a member of the Barbados Royal Police Force for 28 years.

Griffith, 53, and wife Sonia, 52, have been together since fourth form at Ellerslie. They have been married now for 27 years with the union bearing three sons, Christoff Sheldon, Chad Shaquille and Chaquon Shamario.

All three boys have different personalities but the brotherly love is evident.

Christoff, 21, the oldest, is a photographer and big on playing drums at church. He has taken on more responsibility for his younger siblings, pushed strongly by his dad.

“Christoff is bossy and headstrong. He came up rough but that was intentional. It meant that he would have all he needed to take on being the man of the house when I am gone.

“Chad, 18, is carefree. He doesn’t care if the sun comes up today or tomorrow. His personality is one that he says yes to everything you asked him to do. He is quiet and plays the trombone,” said Griffith, as Chad shakes his head at his dad spilling his business to the SUNDAY SUN.

“He used to play the violin but he got a certain age of manhood and believes the violin is a soft instrument. He attends the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and wants to be involved in the construction field.”

Then there is the baby, who is a student of The St Michael School.

“Chaquon, 15, loves the violin and also plays the saxophone. His personality is like that of Christoff, but they are very tight . . . . They can’t do without each other but they can’t be with each other. There is a love-war thing going on,” he said, with all three boys laughing.

Even though Chaquon loves music, he is looking at being a chef and hopes to attend PomMarine.

“I have told my children they can pick their career paths but it still has to make sense. I did not force them into anything . . . . I would have loved them to be policemen but none of them seem so inclined,” he told the SUNDAY SUN.

The soft-spoken policeman has raised his children with a firm hand.

“My discipline sometimes was a cut tail, and sometimes all three would receive it the same time as Peter pay for Paul and Paul pay for all. Sometimes they wouldn’t speak to me for a week, but at end of the day they know I love them and what I did was out of love.

“From when we were in school, Sonia and I always talked about having a family and picked out names for the children. We had a girl name picked out and when we had the first two boys I told my wife I done with that.

“She said the third would be a girl but that didn’t work out,” he said, laughing.

Griffith, the last of six, said he had an overprotective mother and was kept inside the house while his older brothers ran about.

“My dad died when I was in first form at Ellerslie. So my mum raised two girls and four boys.”

His foray into the police force was just to find something to do.

“I came up in the cub scouts at primary and the cadets at secondary school. During weekends to get my extra money for lunch, I would paint wrought iron with my brothers, and also doing some painting of the ACME buses. I also got some work at the hospital. During that time I had sent out some applications and I got a reply from the police force in 1985.”

Many know Griffith as an avid road tennis player and he said the sport is his second love, after his wife, but before his sons.

“I have been doing this for a while. I win some and lose some. There was a road tennis court outside my house at Lodge Hill when I was a boy. It was a way to spend time as we didn’t have the games or gadgets. My mum was a devoted Christian so not on Sundays though. My two older sons play the sport as well, but not the last one . . . . He is into volleyball.”

Griffith said he is the same way with his sons, saving Sunday for the Lord and worshipping and is hoping to be around to see many milestones in his sons’ lives.

“I don’t know when I will be a grandfather. The oldest one knows what I expect from him. He knows he has to accomplish certain things before he looks to make his mum and I grandparents. Same way his mum and I waited to do certain things, he will follow in our footsteps.” (NS)