In an ideal world, every family will resemble something from a Hallmark card and the parents would be perfect.
However, sometimes for various reasons, the relationship between parents can be fraught and the pair may not treat each other in a loving healthy way. If the South African statistics on domestic violence are anything to go by, Family Law says organisations estimate that one out of every six women in South Africa are regularly assaulted by their partner, many men across the country are not treating the mother of their children well and this affects children.
Zayne Meas, author of Daddy, Come Home: Rediscover the Importance of Fatherhood says how a father treats the mother of his children will follow them well into adulthood.
“How a father treats his wife will show the son how he will treat his wife someday. These markers that we as men leave in our homes. The home is the place of the greatest influence, that is where we affect society, we affect the community, we affect the nation,” he explains.
How men behave in the house, the markers they put down are what the children will carry forward he explains.
Unfortunately, many children in the country will never know what having a relationship with their father is like. South Africa has a problem when it comes to fatherhood. Research titled The status of fatherhood and fathering in South Africa says that most children in the country do not grow up with their father.
“South Africa has the lowest marriage rate on the continent, the second highest rate of father absence in Africa after Namibia low rates of paternal maintenance for children and shockingly high rates of abuse and neglect of children by men,” it says.
The study says although society downplays the role of a paternal figure in children lives, a fathers influence on their childs life begins as early as when they are still in the womb.
“Studies have proven that the frequency of the fathers voice not the sound, the frequency affects certain areas on the brain while (the child) is developing in the womb.
Advice for fathers on how to treat their children’s mother on The National Centre for Fathering echoes the quote by Johan Wooden that The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother
“Demonstrate that women are to be valued for their character and integrity, and the feminine personality traits that complement and complete our masculine approach to things. This is perhaps the most potent way to shape your son’s character—by showing him what that respect looks and sounds like,” is days.
Meas says that the family structure is were children get their grounding:”Its important that men don’t underextimate their importance in the family. They want to be great at business, they want to be great politicians but they can’t be those things until they are great fathers at home,” he ends.
– Additional reporting: The National Centre for Fathering.