Children don’t stay little forever. There will come a time when they will know, without you telling them about the sperm and egg donors whose total contribution to their existence is their DNA. When John Crow nyam out yuh conscience, and innocent children are made to suffer because you choose to not participate in their lives — financially and by your presence — yuh day of reckoning must come. It’s not if, it’s when.
As a social worker, I have, unfortunately, come upon way too many situations in which parents who have the wherewithal to take care of their children, both financially and physically, have divorced themselves from doing so, as if the end of the relationship with the child’s other parent has rendered the child non-existent.
The most touched I have been in the course of my job — and I have been touched deeply innumerable times — is having to talk to children who are totally hurt and lost, as they simply cannot wrap their minds around the fact that their absent parent is ignoring their very existence.
Angry, destructive boys, when being counselled, give their parents being absent from their lives as one of the biggest reasons that they are so angry. The worse thing is that there is still that natural love for that absent parent, causing even more confusion in their head and hurt in their heart. Children did not ask to be here. Since they were sitting quietly and safely on “God’s veranda” before you chose to “hook” them off and carry them into this world, the very least you can do as parents, is to put your differences aside and learn to co-parent so that your children’s well-being is what is taking precedence in your lives.
Even though we cannot forever blame our bad behaviour and/or criminality on our parents, sadly, what we have had to endure as children, often times do follow us into adulthood and impacts on how we think, wjat we do and how we are.
The truth is that our past does impact on our present, and eventually even on our future. In having to counsel families, I have had to tell many parents this truth; your actions as parents are causing your children the most hurt in their life, and what will eventually help to be a huge determining factor on the kind of adult and parent they become in the future.
Another very touching experience I have had on my social work journey is seeing grown men cry for their parents; yes, crying for the mother or father they never got to have a relationship with. I tell people this all the time; we get stuck at the chronological age at which we had our most traumatic and emotional experiences if those experiences are not worked through and settled. As such, what our naked eyes see are adults walking around us; seemingly well put together, intelligent adults going about their lawful day-to-day business. However, many of them are emotionally-aged little children, walking around with sad hearts, some just on the edge of their breaking point.
Admittedly, many parents who find themselves in the situation wherein there are absentee parents do bad-mouth that person who is not in their child’s life one way or the other. However, I insist on telling them not to do so, as this only hurts the child. What remains true is this; children DO grow up, and they DO get to the point in their lives that they will see the situation as it is through their own lenses, and then make their own evaluation and decisions about that person whose participation in their existence ended either at the end of the sex act, or the end of their relationship with their other parent.
The bottom line is that, if you made the time; however long or short it was, to lie down and make children, you should stand up and take care of them. I repeat, they didn’t ask to be here, but since they are here, it behoves you to meet your responsibility to your offspring; and not just financially, but also via your physical presence. Yes, children do need to eat and wear clothes, but most important to them is knowing that they are loved by the persons with whom they share DNA.