Prime Minister Andrew Holness is appealing to fathers to show love to their children and to not use anger in their interactions with them.
The Prime Minister says it must no longer be seen as being soft for men to express genuine love to their children, this includes physical displays of affection such as sharing a hug.
Prime Minister Holness also says the notion that children must be seen and not heard is gravely impacting the society. Speaking in an interview on the subject of fatherhood, Prime Minister Holness says every child must be given the freedom to share their thoughts.
The Prime Minister says while encouraging and facilitating healthy dialogue between parents and children, parents must also strive to instill in their children, discipline and respect. He notes that being patient and giving children the opportunity to speak, is paramount in the household and is much more effective than harsh punishment.
Prime Minister Holness said;
“Since the birth of my children, I’ve made it my point of duty to never consider corporal punishment. I instead listen to the sound reasoning of my children because I think, the ability to listen to your children brings about the ability within them to elaborate on problems and to express themselves so that they don’t have a challenge in finding words, to match their feelings. The alternative is that they arrive at a point where, when they are confronted with emotions and they can’t express it, they retaliate with violence.”
He further pointed out that a large percentage of the violent acts perpetuated within the society are in part due to a lack of fundamental principles that were absent in the home. The Prime Minister says this is also why men feel entitled to be dominant and showing that through aggression, particularly in intimate partner relationships, carnal abuse cases and other such situations.
The Prime Minister added that men have become very reliant on violence and anger in order to show strong masculinity. He says it is critical that fathers play a role in the life of their children by showing love, instilling respect and integrity and providing guidance, and care.
Prime Minister Holness expressed that through his upbringing, though in a single family home where he only visited his father on summer days, his curiosity to learn was stimulated by his father. He pointed out that his father taught him to think broadly, ask questions while being cautious. He says his father helped to shape his mind as it relates to political perspectives and spirituality as well as a defiance in the face of the the status quo. These lessons he says, he will pass on to his two sons.
The Prime Minister saluted fathers who are present and active in the lives of their children and raising young men and women who are conscientious, kind, respectful and in charge of themselves and their emotions.
He is encouraging fathers to guide their children with patience and un-ending love, “Children are blessings, and you should love them, care for them, protect them and guide them and also give them many hugs. Especially fathers, don’t be afraid to give your child a hug at any time.”