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18.06.2012 Social News


By Maame Dede Djaba, London
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17 June 2012
On Fathers' Day, I am wondering how many absent fathers made any attempt to contact their children. The problem with absent fathers is that they do not realise the damage that they cause by disappearing and failing to live up to their responsibilities. The effects of growing up without a father can be extremely burdensome for the mother. It can affect the children, their education and their own relationships. They lose out on the affection of the father and can grow up bitter and angry with psychological, emotional and social problems. Girls with involved respectful fathers see how they should expect men to treat them and are less likely to become involved in violent or unhealthy relationships.

Often, the mother has to play the role of both father and mother to her child. In addition she has to work long hours just to make ends meet and to take care of her child or children. Sometimes she has to rely on expensive Nannies and carers. The work/life balance is never right. It is stressful. Financially, the kids find themselves living on the poverty line or even beneath the poverty line.

Fathers who treat the mother of their children with respect and deal with conflict within the relationship in an adult and appropriate manner are more likely to raise boys to understand women and who are less likely to act aggressively towards women.

We all know of someone out there who is neglecting their children. If the woman dares to take him to the Child Support Agency (CSA), they find all sorts of ways not to pay. Some give up their jobs, move house, relocate, ask for DNA tests or simply refuse to pay unless there is an order that allows the CSA to take the money from their salary. If the man is self-employed, it is even more difficult.

Some mothers have to depend on handouts, second-hand clothes, food banks, scrimping and saving on a daily basis. A child in a home without a father is 5 times more likely to be poor. We need to examine the choices that we make and consider family planning at the beginning of every relationship. Some men will never be ready to take care of children. Some dead-beat dads are in multiple relationships and simply do not care.

It is about time that women take control of their lives and their fertility. Having multiple children with a dead-beat dad will only reap heartache. The emotional and financial consequences can be devastating. Why are some dads leaving the State to pick up the tab?

There are some women and children who are being neglected even within the marriage where the man chooses to invest his income in building homes abroad, in entertaining girlfriends, alcohol, drugs, latest gadgets such as fancy cars, flashy clothes, Ipads, Iphones, etc.

This is predominant in especially the African community. It is time to change. Let us send a clear message to these men. Enough is enough.

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