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25 Jun 2022, Edition - 2538, Saturday

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Columns

On being a father, not hormone donor

Uma Ram

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The International Father’s Day in the racy world appears no more than a mere reminder of the role relationships have. Anyone can be a biological father but it takes a special person to be a DAD. Though technological​ progress has procreated clones, it has equally shattered the human mind’s thought process.

Asked about parenting in a survey, almost 50 per cent fathers said: “It’s a mother’s job. Earning is our job and it’s the mother’s to raise the children. We have enough of headaches.” Half of the fathers did not know their children’s favourite foods, colours, hobbies, talents or their favorite hero. Many didn’t known even their shoe size. Almost 85 per cent didn’t know their names of their children’s friends. And the worst, a few of them had confusion regarding their children’s class and section.

Almost 80 per cent of fathers confessed to their private time on social media till bedtime.

In my children’s school PTA meeting parents were bombarded because of a single parent’s misconduct, for the school iPad of his child in second grade had 1285 pictures of actresses downloaded in it. Worst was a father’s defence for his son’s behaviour during lunch break of watching youtube in his Android which he had hidden with his school bus conductor. His argument was that -”Boys will be boys. As far as they excel in their academics with A+ they should not interfere with the teenager’s privacy.”

Memoirs of my childhood remind me of my father and even my friend’s fathers who led a life to set an example to their children. Reciting bedtime moral stories of heroes was a usual routine of my father, in whose arms me and my brother slept till our higher secondary. No human being is perfect. But the level of frankness about issues once considered a taboo, and truly in reality, is the culprit destroying domiciles. Nothing is bad or against virtues in this era of moral laxity.

Our childhood saw disciplined fathers who commanded children boldly when they went wrong as they too were disciplined. So children could never back-answer them to point any vices against them. But in today’s scenario, one common statement I hear in most of the homes during discussions on family life is-”How long can these men’s atrocities exist? Only a few more years. Once my son enters his college he will put an end to his father’s tyranny.” Such is the kind of a love-hate relationship in today’s families. In such a situation children growing up as disciplined citizens can never be thought of.

The father is every child’s first hero. Children don’t follow their advice but their footprints​.

“Children are wet cement. Remember to leave only good impressions on them.”

In today’s nano technological world, being a sperm donor for an IVF is no wonder. But being a `Father’ and more precisely a `Dad’ is the true miracle. With more advanced gadgets, the world has become a small place to reach out and families `a yonder destination’. Under such humiliated atmosphere the future of the children becomes questionable.

Social media reigning over families has left children abandoned to live all by themselves. In a TV talk show about how children suffer within families, a teenager when accused of her friendship with a boy, and her bold activities even in front of her parents, confessed that her father’s extra-marital affair had traumatised her. She daringly admitted that she behaved so to avenge her father.

The video that went viral on WhatsApp about who parents and children wanted to dine with was an eye opener to all ignorant parents and especially fathers who procrastinate their parental duties. The parents cited celebrities to dine with while all the children had just one thing common – dine with the family. Children might soon ask for ` An hour’ with their parents as their birthday gift too. This rejection of the parents, rather than ignorance is reason for increasing old age homes.

A man when asked to return home from abroad to take care of his parents confessed at a conference call on a TV show that his father had never taken care of him when he was a child. He pinned that his father though had spent out lavishly on him, had never been by his side when he needed his warmth of love. He had never come to his school even once nor had he attended his birthday celebration since his childhood. His mother though had been on his side, showering all her love. Yet, he didn’t want to visit her too as he could not avoid his father at home. He went even to extent of confiding that he would take his mother with him after his father’s demise. So he just sends them money and gifts on special occasions, just the way his father used to.

The memory power of children is astounding. Remember to sow only healthy happy seeds of love and warmth if you want your old age to be a peaceful one. Life is a boomerang. What you shoot comes back. Never forget that money or power can beget just luxuries or servants, but only your family can lend a loving hand in old age “A good parenting is the best retirement plan.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own.

(The author of the column is Uma Ram, freelance writer from Coimbatore)

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