It takes a dad in the village to raise a child too

By Peter Ehrlich

They say it takes a village to raise a child. That is true, but fifty per cent any village is made up of men and a good percentage of those guys are daddies.

I don’t think anyone would disagree with the primal assumption that fathers need to play a part in raising their children. If they all got up and left their children alone in the village, it would create a river of tears.

The women would be crying not because they feel sorry for themselves, but because they know their children are in pain. Good mothers are incapable of seeing their children suffer.

But the mothers in the village can only cry for five minutes because they won’t have time to figure out how to be a single mom. It’s more like “abacadabra, I have to be a single mom now for the sake of my children and fill in as the father the best I can”.

The children will be crying because they’ll think it’s their fault their dad left. They can’t possibly understand how he could abandon them to the lions, tigers and bears. It goes against everything that is natural and right. And they’re 100% correct of course.

Unfortunately it seems some men in the Village of Toronto (Huron word for “place of meeting”) don’t “meet” their children often enough or at all.

Why is that? Research is unequivocal that few fathers abandon their children voluntarily. Most fatherless children result from fathers being forcibly separated from their children by the court system.

I’m not going to open that can of worms here. Not yet. It’s too big a can. But I will say this; the family court process of determining who should have the right to see the children and when can be a horrific one.

I can understand how some of you fathers feel you can justify not being part of your children’s lives, however misplaced the thinking is. You may feel:

the legal system has left you exhausted, broke and cynical so what’s the point?
you got screwed by the courts, getting too little access to matter, so what’s the point if you show up at all?

that since your Ex met another guy and he seems to have assumed the father role, what’s the point? (This cannot happen unless you want it to. Your children will never replace you, even if you see them but one moment a week, because YOU’RE their father. Blood is blood. There’s only one condition. You need to be a good, loving father to gain your child’s loyalty.

There is no excuse for not playing a big part of your children’s lives and deep down inside your naturally good heart you know that.

Your children need you so they can be the best well-rounded, happy person they have the right to be.

And how else are they going to know how to choose a loving partner or create a requited relationship in the future if they’re missing fifty percent of their role models?

Regardless of the shit you’ve gone through, you have to climb up high on the mast, stick your face into the teeth of the hurricane and scream, “you call this is f@%#ng storm?!”

Your children deserve your courage.

There’s an old Hebrew expression and it goes like this: “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire”.

If you’ve been away from your children for too long, there’s still time to save them (and yourself), and consequently, make our world a better place. There’s no excuse for anything less.

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