On the 28th of May 2016, Fundacion pa nos muchanan (FPNM), held an event for fathers, children and the family called “Mi Tata ta Campeon!” (My Dad is a champ!). FPNM is a foundation for the wellness of all children in Aruba under the age of 12. Its main mission is to enforce the role of parents, educators and the day care centers.
In this setting, it was a no-brainer to organize a day to focus on the role of fathers in parenting and in the family. I know this, because I was there as president of the foundation. The main point is this: the role of fathers is important for the development of happy, healthy children. Understating this important role posits a big problem for shaping our society in the future.
I take myself as an example of this role. I could tell you that I achieved becoming president of FPNM, by chance and because of my values. I could tell you that I achieved that through my job as a legal counselor at the Department of Public Health. I could even tell you that the whole basis of that, was my law degree, and advanced high school degree before that. But behind all these reasons we can find the constant effort, concern, love and discipline that my father gave me throughout many years. He dedicated much of himself into our education, and much of what he did was focused on the betterment of his family and the development of his children. From him I learned values, such as taking good care of children. A value that he himself received from his father.
As a result of good parenting, children can have happy, healthy childhoods that will lead them far into adulthood, and in turn this produces a healthy society as a whole. Good upbringing involves both parents to commit to raising children in the best possible way. Organization such as FPNM can help in making this a step easier. In the light of this, the role of mothers and fathers are crucial for the well being of all children. After all, children need more than food and shelter. Love, dedication and education are crucial as well. They lead to well being of children, and as a result lead to full-grown men and women who can lead healthy, balanced lives. They can reach their full potential and bring so much more to the labor market and society. These happy adults in turn can produce healthy families, and become eventually the fabric of society itself. Having good fathers and mothers is not a merely a private affair, it is of national interest. The absence of fathers, and other factors that undermine this concept is a threat to our whole society, and especially the children that are exposed to them.
You may have your father with you or are planning to start a family in the near future. This is a good opportunity to reflect on this crucial role for the wellbeing of the children. In a globalizing world we are ever increasingly interconnected. Why not help start making a difference, and start where you are at? Why not raise the bar for raising children? Why not change the role of fathers from an understatement to a true statement?