Of course not....
...Well....the unfortunate truth is that a lot of people feel this way and this should not be so. I'm sure many of us have heard this before...If the child misbehaves, it's "your" [the mother's] child but if the child does well......ehen! that's my boy/girl!
Yes, please feel free to roll your eyes here.
Raising a child is hard enough for two parents, talk less of one [shout-out to all the single parents out there, you're super heroes]
I understand that we all have to work and provide for the family, while it might not be possible to there all the time, it is good if the father is there, SOME of the time. I have seen cases where the father disconnects after the diagnosis has been made and he has come to understand the fact that their child is not like other children. It is not an easy thing for anybody at all to digest but when this happens, it has to be dealt with. The family has to find a way to move forward, manage the situation and make the necessary adjustments.
The fact that raising a child is a job for two parents cannot be stressed enough, especially when the child in question is a special needs child. When both parents are involved, it makes the job easier, brings the family even closer together and enables the parents to draw strength from each other. I am always happy to meet fathers who are hands-on.
One example is Toju's father. Toju is autistic.
On getting to Toju’s house 2 weeks ago, his nanny who was supposed to assist me by singing to Toju while he did his exercises, kept dozing off. When I chided her for it, she burst out,
"Is it not Toju? He kept all of us up all night. Daddy and mummy took turns carrying him."
Was he feverish?"
"No o, he is like that some days and when he is like that, mummy and daddy do not sleep."
Mummy and Daddy? That's cool.
I went on my weekly supervision to Toju’s house. The Therapist happily announced that Toju no longer gives her a hard time during writing tasks. The dad usually comes in during sessions on the days he comes home early and when he saw how Toju struggled with the writing tasks and behavior he put up, he decided to follow up by giving him writing tasks before bed time.
When I commented on the this to Toju's mum, she agreed that his dad has really been supportive, "Ollie, his support and dedication to our kids especially our son Toju, despite his strenuous work schedule has made me grow to appreciate him more every day. My family has deep respect for him."
This post is a tribute to all the dads who have been dads to that special one. May God continue to bless you and may you be a guiding light for other dads who are in that avoidance mode or having a disconnection because of his child’s challenges or leaving the responsibility to the mom.
Please, Dads, if you have a special needs child, we would love to hear your stories, how do you do it?
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