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Some things children would want their fathers to know

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Charles Ighele


They Want Their Daddies To Love Their Mummies

It is a known universal fact that the percentage of children who are closer to their mothers is by far higher than those close to their fathers. A medical expert once made me to understand that children know their mothers before they know their fathers. He said that when a child is still in the womb and the mother speaks, the child can hear and is able to soothingly familiarise himself with the sound of his mother’s voice.

I saw my wife Carol breastfeed our four biological children and I observed that apart from the fact of breastfeeding that took place, there was also something else: bonding. The breastfeeding time the father cannot experience with the child, unless perhaps he bottle-feeds the baby. Even at that, bonding between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding cannot be the same.At a stage, when my wife was breastfeeding our children, the baby would fix a gaze on her face and both of them would smile at each other.

This and many other roles that play out in their lives, make many children to have a peculiar love for their mothers. They also love their fathers, but they seem to have more of what I would call ‘protective love’ for their mothers.

In the late 1970s, a Nigerian musician sang a song titled ‘Sweet Mother.’ It was an instant hit and some of the lyrics are:
Sweet mother I no go forget you (I will never forget you)
For the suffer wey you suffer for me (For how you have laboured for me)
If I no sleep my mother no go sleep (If I don’t sleep my mother will not sleep)
If I no chop my mother no go chop (If I don’t eat my mother will not eat)
She no dey tire (she doesn’t get tired).

This song is still very popular, even though the artiste is dead.The success of ‘Sweet Mother’ made people prevail on him to sing ‘Sweet Father’ or something like that. The album was a complete flop. His sales for ‘Sweet Mother’ far outnumbered that of ‘Sweet Father.’ Your guess is as good as mine as to why that happened.

It is only wise for a man to love the mother of his children, if he really wants his children’s love. But it is best for a man to love his wife because the Bible says so and not just because he wants his children to love him.

• Children do not like it when their parents quarrel
Children love their daddies and their mummies because they play different roles in their lives and they expect their parents to love each other. Their thinking gets disorganised, when these two people whom they love and who should love each other often quarrel.

Even when parents quarrel like lovers who have a disagreement, some children interpret this to mean hatred for each other. They cannot, therefore, understand why the two people they love most do not love themselves.

Tears flowed from my eyes many years ago, when a little girl told me in my office that she would like to be a lawyer, so that when next her father and mother quarrelled, she would know how to settle them.

A short while ago, a five-year-old child told one of my children, ‘I hate my daddy.’ When further asked why the strong words of hatred, she said she felt that way because ‘he hits my mummy.’

At least for the sake of the children and mostly due to reverence for God, parents should constantly learn how to live in love with one another. Love you
Curled from my book, BUT WHERE IS MY DADDY?


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Charles Ighele
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