fatherI listened with awe the other day, to a phone-in program on a popular radio station that asked the question, “who is to blame for the indiscipline in schools? Mom? Dad? or Miss?” My heart sank as I processed the issue. Then came the realization that I know what the root of the problem is. How we are going to solve the problem is another matter. I did not call in to the radio station, I chose to put pen to paper instead.

The person who is at the root of this problem is perhaps the most influential. Often times I wonder if he is aware of :

  1. his role in the issue
  2. the legitimate power and influence that he has to change things
  3. his god-given birthright and role in the family

The group of persons over which he is head, need and rely on him to get their job done and to fulfill their role in finding solutions to the mess. We cannot effectively mange without him.  This person is equipped with the strength to play the lead role in solving the problem of indiscipline. He was designed in nature and stature to have others look up to him and depend on him for guidance, protection and esteem. It is only when he does his part that the other pieces of the puzzle fit together like motorized clock work. Without him all else runs around like a headless chicken exhausting themselves doing the best they can however still something is missing.

It is time for the good fathers who know how to inculcate discipline to stand up and be counted. We need more positive and potent role models so that young men in schools can emulate. Too many of our men only feel good about themselves if they can emulate the gun violence propounded by some current popular role models. Unless the good dads stand up and make their presence more powerful than the others not just inside church walls and other civic associations but without we will continue to reproduce that which we abhor.

Headlines in a newspaper released the same day as the radio programme caught my interest. I was startled to see the headline that stated that a mother abandoned 7 kids. Well hey somebody! Fathers are doing this everyday and no one ever thinks this deserves a mention in the newspaper.

If men would do what they are supposed to do Jamaica would be a different place right now. All homes and families would be transformed and by extension society.

As I sit writing this article I receive conformation from a teacher in a newly upgraded high school who tells me that every time they confront a student who is involved in indiscipline she asks the student what’s wrong and where is daddy? Invariably the answer comes back that he is away and the child confesses to be reeling from the pain of it.

My question is not if but how can we get men to change their minds and more importantly how soon? We need more men to stand up, be strong and lovingly take charge of their spouse and children. We need men to show children the right path, the right way to behave and show them that ‘hooliganism’, ‘boogooyaganism;’ and ‘bandulooism’ are not it. We need to see more men showing kindness, love and respect and concern for others. Fathers the best way to lead your children is by example and the wholesome qualities mentioned before need not cost a lot of money (if any) to portray. Of course there will be those who are genuinely hungry and who therefore feel unable to comply. Organized structures should be put in place to help them help themselves. If anyone else feels the burning need to put solutions in motion I would love to hear from you.

Towards solutions

Those with the ‘know how’, need to do everything in their power to get men at the point where they feel confident in taking up the leadership challenge head on. I think everything should be arranged to facilitate this in the shortest possible time. I know that there are organizations such as the Methodist church that are increasing their focus on men’s ministry however I think that as a society, our men can make our leaders stand up and take notice of the issues if they work together, carefully research and document workable solutions and insist on being heard. Part of the problem is that as a society we are poor followers, we have a tendency to pussy-foot around slackness and intransigence of our leaders to adequately deliver on promises made to eradicate poverty, crime, corruption and to create income earning opportunities for our men, women and families in general. I think men can lead a psychological revolution in intelligently yet aggressively ensuring that our leaders deliver on their promises ‘so that Jamaica may under God increase in beauty and play her part in advancing the welfare of’ even… Jamaica.

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