I am quite fortunate and blessed that my dad has always been and still is around.

To this day, we often have deep conversations about life, growth, manhood, and everything related to being a man.

He will turn 65 this year, and I deeply respect him.

He has been present in my life since birth, raising me with care and dedication. Men from his generation embody a different kind of fatherhood. However, this began to change around the 1980s, and it seems to be getting worse year by year.

This new type of father is something else.

Nowadays, the concept of being a father has been diluted. We see boys becoming fathers, mentally ill individuals taking on fatherhood, because it has become so easy for someone to claim the title of father.

There is a significant difference between being a father and being a present father.

Whether or not you are with the mother of your child, you can still be an active presence in the child’s life.

Being a present father means knowing what is happening in your children’s lives and being actively involved, not just sending money.

If you think sending N$5 000 a month is fulfilling your role, you are mistaken. That approach makes you an absent father.

While financial support is important, it is not a substitute for the wisdom, time, affection and other forms of support children need.

There are some things money simply cannot provide.

Although I was born in the ’90s, I aspire to be a father like those born in the ’50s and earlier. I will be fully present in my children’s lives.

I believe children should be so close to their dads that they can sense each other’s moods.

If my daughter has a scratch on her neck, I need to know.

I should be able to discuss with her mother why she isn’t eating and understand the reasons behind it.

I must know her so well that I can distinguish between her different types of cries – whether she’s hungry, in pain or just crying for attention.

Additionally, I strongly believe parenting responsibilities can be shared between mother and fathers, as 95% of the tasks can be split. There’s nothing a father can’t do, so there’s no excuse for not being involved.

From changing nappies, preparing meals and feeding them as babies to making lunch boxes, dropping them off at school, reading bedtime stories and picking out their outfits as they grow, being a present father means doing all of this.

As they grow, I will be there to pay tuition fees, offer career advice, attend graduations and provide encouragement every step of the way. It is my duty to be present.

I get so excited when I see a man with his children, whether they are on a coffee date or shopping together.

It’s fascinating to witness. Seeing a man with his toddler is especially heartwarming.

While it’s important to call out absent fathers, it’s equally important to praise the present ones. Kudos to those who are actively involved in their children’s lives.

On the other hand, there are men who claim to be fathers but do nothing to support their children.

They don’t provide financial support or any other form of involvement. These ‘fathers’ are only fathers in name, not in action.

I call them ‘online’ dads.

They talk about being fathers, but do nothing ‘offline’ to support their children. This behaviour is not only irresponsible, but also cowardly.

I can’t stress enough how the shortage of good fathers in society impacts children’s development.

This absence can profoundly affect children as they grow, often leading them to become the kind of people they never wanted to be.

If you are a father, take a moment to reflect on your role.

If you find yourself falling short on any of these responsibilities, remember it’s never too late to change.

Happy Father’s Day!

– Meneer_SK is an advocate for men’s grooming and all matters relating to men. Follow him on
Instagram @Meneer_SK

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