Guest Column

Why are we commending Chris Brown’s attempt to play dad?

2015-07-02 17:22
Chris Brown. Picture: Instagram

Chris Brown. Picture: Instagram

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It’s an honourable thing musician Chris Brown has done – to get the ball rolling as far as fatherly “duties” go.  He’s filed papers requesting a paternity test regarding his daughter with aspiring model and nursing student Nia Guzman.

By doing this, and if indeed the test shows that he is the father, Brown has indicated that he is prepared to stand up and take responsibility. 

For this, he has been commended – and yet he shouldn’t be commended because this should be the norm. 

In South Africa, while 93% of young children have both biological parents still living, only 36% of them live with both biological parents, says the 2012 report on “South Africa’s young children: their family and home environment”

The report also shows that most young children (43%) live with only their biological mother. Only 2% of young children live with their biological father only. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are supported only by their biological mother, or that the “fortunate” 36% actually get the support they need. 

A law passed by the National Assembly last week will see parents who default on child maintenance blacklisted and blocked from getting credit while owing maintenance. 
At the time, deputy minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery said: “This we believe sends out a clear message to maintenance defaulters that their failure to support their dependants is indefensible.” 

Financial contributions will certainly help but would Chris Brown’s child, for example, benefit from having him around? This is a man who was convicted for assault, and has been in trouble with the law for various offences, including assault and drug possession. 

In 2010 the Journal of Marriage and Family published research by Timothy Biblarz and Judith Stacey of NYU on whether children needed both a mother and a father. 

The study was focused on examining whether the gender of parents matters. But Biblarz and Stacey concluded: “The family type that is best for children is one that has responsible, committed, stable parenting. Two parents are, on average, better than one, but one really good parent is better than two not-so-good ones.” 

It’s a heartening bit of research, especially in light of the large number of young children who don’t live with both biological parents, and the large number of single parents who are giving a darn difficult job a really good go. 

And a few weeks down the line, should Chris Brown find out that he’s not the father of the little girl, it won’t mean that the world is going to come to an end. It just means that Nia Guzman is going to have to be that one really good parent. 

It’s been done before. Just ask Trevor Noah, Julius Malema, Barack Obama, Jon Stewart, Pierce Brosnan, Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, Michael Phelps and Shaquille O’Neal.

Read more on:    brown  |  chris

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