PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Maruping Phepheng
 
Comments: 9
Article views: 1056
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Maruping Phepheng's badges.
 

Children and their absent fathers.

12 June 2014, 05:00

This morning when I drove to work I saw a child – he must have been seven or eight, cross a busy road in order to find his way to school.  He was on his own, with no one helping him cross a busy road.

I felt like stopping to see him cross safely, but I was on the fast lane with no chance of stopping without possibly causing an accident.  So I drove on, hoping he makes it across the road without a car hitting him.

As I drove on the boy stayed on my mind and a few questions hit me.

Why would such a child be on his own in such a dangerous situation?  Where are the parents?  Where is the care?  I know we are busy but why does it seem like there is no arrangement in place ensuring that children arrive safely at school?

OK. Maybe to conclude he has parents in the first place is a bit assuming on my part.  So where are the guardians?  Siblings?  Neighbours?  Anybody?

Amid all these questions my mind meandered to a point of wondering if the parents of that boy are still together.  I know some of the people I went to high school with have moved on and married women other than mothers of their (in most cases) first born babies.

And so forth meandered my mind, wondering how all the children who are growing up without fathers actually cope in such difficult times.  Put differently, I wondered how me being an absent father affects the children.  {Let me pause here to say my inclination is toward speaking of fathers because I am one.  This admission does not serve to absolve mothers, if there are absent mothers out there.}

Many of us have in our youth done things we cannot undo.  Some of us had kids in our teens, early and late.

Many of the children born during our youth are now under the care of their mothers alone.  This in a very important way complicates the lives of everyone involved.

What happens to the child when the father marries a different woman?

What happens to the child when the mother gets married to a different man?

Indeed what happens to the child amid all these developments?  Who is responsible for what and how is the responsibility executed, if at all?

This is a complex problem which has a potential to wreck lives.  Marriages fail because of the ‘complication’ that the child suddenly becomes, while the child herself loses out on proper upbringing in a loving environment that has both the mother and the father involved. 

They would together instil proper values in the child, making sure for instance that she does not end up doing drugs, or opting for things like prostitution in her desperate quest to make ends meet.

I looked into the matter a bit and found that contained in a Journal of Behavioral Medicine 17 (1994), is that in a study of 700 adolescents, researchers found that “compared to families with two natural parents living in the home, adolescents from single-parent families have been found to engage in greater and earlier sexual activity.” {Source: Carol W. Metzler, et al. “The Social Context for Risky Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents.”}

This piece of research is for me significant because it supports the question I want to ask: without the guidance of both the father and mother, what is to stop these children from repeating the same mistake(s) that we committed?  Before you conclude that I am now branding our kids ‘mistakes’, hold on a bit and understand the simple context.  Isn’t it true that when we were 15 or 16 or 17, we were just having fun without worrying about the consequences?  Or would we say we actually planned to have children at that time of our teenagehood? Of course we didn’t.

So for me the key thing is to seize the opportunity and ‘use’ these children to attempt to permanently correct what went wrong.  For instance, we could encourage our boys and girls to wait a little longer before they engage in sex.  This will delay the potential of unwanted pregnancy, and, most importantly, it will hopefully allow children enough time to know about HIV and Aids and how to keep safe even before they get deprived of their virginity.

But then again that complication rears its head: many of us are unavailable for this responsibility because we have ‘moved on’; and, sadly, some parents aren’t even in speaking terms to be able to carry out collective parenting.  At times you find that these kids themselves have decided to cut the father and or the mother out.

The million dollar question then becomes: what now?  I am honestly not sure, but I do know that we must try.  We must at minimum make an effort to show our young ones the way.

Just to complete the picture, I also came across this startling revelation when I went through an article published late last year: “Only four out of 10 black children under the age of 15 live with their fathers. Of the remaining six, three do not have regular contact with their fathers and three have absolutely no contact with their dads.”

We really must correct this.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Nhlanhla Nyembe
Pistorius sentencing

The five-year sentence received by Pistorius just goes to show that there is different justice for different people.  Read more...

1 comments 469 views
Submitted by
Saskia Ferreira
Oscar's Punishment does not fit t...

When putting a murderer on trial one needs to disregard his social status. This in my eyes is something they didn't do. They should have treated him as "Oscar, the guy who killed Reeva".  Read more...

7 comments 342 views
Submitted by
Renee Viljoen
Oscar Sentence.. unfair !!

I do not believe that he did not know Reeva was behind the door... justice was not served!! Read more...

1 comments 145 views
Submitted by
Ivy Carter
Oscar is NOT responsible...

You may not like what you are going to hear about the OP trial here but someone needs to say it, so I will take the punch with your thumbs downs and the rest of it. Read more...

23 comments 868 views
Submitted by
Dineo Malakoane
Oscar Pistorius: Unjust Justice

I am absolutely disappointed at the 5yr sentence that Oscar received. I believe that Gerrie Nel did a brilliant job and Judge Masipa should have found him guilty of murder in the first place.  Read more...

6 comments 422 views
Submitted by
Jeff Woodworth
Jail sentence of Oscar

The count 1 of culpable homicide the sentence of 5 years is not appropriate, at least 10 years max, with 5 years suspended sentence, this will sent a message to all who takes the life of another. Read more...

1 comments 100 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.