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The Reality of Toxic idea of fatherhood in "No Thanks For Dads? by Jeph Oluwagbemiga

Hello Dads,

On two occasion, I have organized Parent - Teens relational seminars in Lagos and one of them was tagged "Parents Appreciation Day” during which every teenager must thank their parent and present them a medal. All those who spoke only thanked their mom. 

I designed ‘Super Mom”, “Super Dad” , “Best Pastor” medals for these teenagers to buy and decorate their parents,  only few bought for their dads….we had to give it out free for them to reluctantly collect and decorated their dads. Osanobua!

Nobody bought for their pastor. (That’s a story for another day)
Few days back I came across a video clip celebrating moms. It was a compilation of people who won several awards who showed deep and emotional appreciation to their moms for their success. It was an interesting piece that got me thinking. The eulogies for moms was streaming from every corners….. but No thanks for Dad.

Why? How?
I am a male, a man, a dad, a Psychologist and a professional Family Enhancement practitioner and I will be speaking from these platforms. There is so much to write but i will dwell on just a couple of things.

No thanks for Dads…..Why?
Dads were boys who have been engineered not to betray any ‘unmanly' emotions so that they can sustain their male identity. 

Whosoever or whatsoever culture taught men not to cry is responsible for men dying early They are responsible for male depression. They are responsible for the rage that we see when a man just rise to kill his wife with unimaginable brutality.

A man who has never cried is a fake. A pretender. A loitering disaster. A man who claimed to have never cried is not telling the truth. He has probably cried away from home, in his car, in the toilet, on the laps of his Delilah girlfriend, in his pastor’s house, on his mother lap (that one is really a boy, a kidult), in his friend’s house probably in the presence of the friends wife. When he gets to his own house he suddenly becomes James Bond 007, pulling empty stunts. 

Real men cry on the laps of their wives and that is where they can receive original heartfelt succor. That is where men should go and get de-mythified and demystified. Men are humans, nothing more.

So many men suffer because they like to bask in the glare of the Superman myth around them.  Hey Dude, you aint no superman. Face it.

Hey children, No Thanks for Dad?
Yes, no thanks because he is seen as self-made and self-sufficient man and cannot relate with their own pains, so they go to the mom who has always been living like a real human. Most children have seen their mom in her lowest ebbs, they have probably cried with her in the kitchen, pray for her because she’s real enough to ask for their prayers and advise.

They could relate perfectly when she becomes strong again. They could easily go to her and share their own pains. They pray together and encourage each other. She is their hero, their prayer partner, their counsellor.  Where is Dad in all these? He’s keeping a deadpan face, yelling at the ‘weak’ woman and these have been misunderstood by the children as callousness. So they migrate to mom’s side. The flesh and blood they know and have come to appreciate.

Lots of Dads are so much like a Sci-Fi personality so they are on their own. No thanks because he doesn’t seem to operate at the family flesh and blood level!
No thanks for Dads because he show a fa├žade of ‘macho man’ when he is actually burning under the burden of stress and needs encouragement from his home constituency, but he is  shying away!

He has career and extended family pressures eating him up but he keeps a straight face. He is a man trying to prove something. His strength is failing he needs to rest but he keeps pushing his limits. Leave him please “He is a man and he needs to prove to everyone”. So he gets no sympathy
Moms knows the school teachers, lesson teachers, organizes for children  pick–up or do school runs amidst her tight schedules, attends PTA, Open Day, Inter-House Sport, poem recitals etc……. most Dads don’t do any of these, so children thinks moms are more caring. When children comes home with good results, mummy is jumping in celebration hugging them and singing choruses. Dad keeps calm and portrays no emotion, trying to be manly. The child thinks “Mom loves me more that Dad. She's always encouraging me. She’s my hero”
So when he wins HipHop Award, Footballer of the Year award, Miss Nigeria, etc, the only things that plays back in his mind are the humanity of the mom which made her the hero.
He picks the award and says, “I want to thank my mom. She is always there for me”
Interestingly the Mom might be in the audience. She’s always around physically and emotionally but dad has always been emotionally absent. 

Wake up Dads stop acting like a Sci-Fi character.

No Thanks for Dads?
Some deserve to be thanked because they have outgrown the traditional male challenge and have proven records of being a ‘thankable Dad’

I am a THANKABLE Dad. What about You?

Rejoinders are welcome.

Thanks for reading and ruminating,
I am Jeph3:16, TheFamilyCoach

Jeph Oluwagbemiga (Jeph3:16)
Psychologist & Family Systems Enhancement Coach
Teens| Youths| Singles| Couples| Parents