The second episode of Step by Step focused on the importance of father figures in the lives of children. Step by Step is a parenting programme and is a project deliverable of the Child Rights Alliance (CRA). The panellists consisted of Milton Smith (Childcare and Protection Agency Probation and Social Officer), Eworth Williams (Senior Pastor, Heavenly Light World Outreach Fellowship) and Paul Williams (Assistant Commissioner, Guyana Police Force).
The panel stated that a parent and a father lends physical, emotional, spiritual support to the child that helps him/her achieve their full potential. They supported a holistic approach to parenting acknowledging the fact that some fathers believe that they have fulfilled their duty if they meet their material obligations. They panel also emphasized that parenting must be done in partnership. A mother cannot function effectively as a father and vice versa. Both parents’ role is critical.
The panel noted the profound difference the presence of a father in the life of a child. Milton Smith of the CPA indicated that a girl who hears “I love you” from her father is more equipped to spurn sexual advances of men. This is because the father would have satisfied his child’s need of love and acceptance. Pastor Williams indicated that the father’s role is irreplaceable because he brings security and stability to the home.
The panel warned against the prevalence of violence in the home. Violence can be learned and inevitably spread to the community. They implored men who are not biological fathers to acts as father figures to children who do not have biological fathers. This support can have a lasting impact in the life of a child.