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It is often motherhood that dominates the focus of parenting celebrations as well as scientific studies on parenting.  As it is usually the mother that is the primary caregiver and the parent who develops the initial attachment, commonly researched and known as Attachment Theory. However most of us know that fatherhood is very significant in a child’s life. Even though there isn’t many studies that are focused specifically on fatherhood, the limited research has shown that children who grow up with a present and engaged Father are less likely to drop out of school or end up in prison, compared to children with absent fathers and/or other male role models.

Fathers are extremely important for a child’s development according to Psychologist Paul Amato who studies parent-child relationships in the US. In addition to the above, children who have close relationships with their father figures tend to score higher in IQ tests by the age of 3, avoid high-risk behaviours, are less likely to have sex at a young age and are more likely to have high paying jobs and healthy stable relationships when they grow up. They are also less likely to experience emotional and psychological problems throughout their lives.

Within the AfroGlobal community Black children born to single mothers have more than tripled from about 24% in 1960 to nearly 70% and it is increasing to date. This suggests that Black fathers are less likely to live in the same household as their child/children, as opposed to fathers of other races. However it is important to highlight that  single-mother families among other races, has also risen dramatically since the 1960’s.

In the scientific domain, the benefit of the paternal presence is referred to as the “The Father Effect” which has more to do with quality, than quantity according to Amato. In addition to this, the father effect does not necessarily occur just because there is a man living in the household and is not necessarily absent if a man is not living in the household.  Furthermore, the Father effect doesn’t need to be from a biological father, it could be a brother, granddad, uncle, pastor and or a close male friend.

As you can see the “Father Effect” is extremely important for the positive well-being and future outcomes for children, therefore a day that celebrates all the fathers, grandfathers, uncles, brothers, step dads, foster dads, male carers and any other man that is caring for, or making a positive difference to a child’s life is definitely to be celebrated and appreciated and in light of the many challenges faced within AfroGlobal communities, Black men making a positive difference in a child’s life should be celebrated even more so.

Speaking to a friend recently about the motivation for his newly launched luxury casual wear lifestyle brand ‘Yesu‘ , shed light on the many great fathers that I know whom despite facing various challenges, found various and creative ways to ensure that they are continuously and positively present in the lives of their children.  Jojo expressed to me how important it is for him to be a great father and also how challenging things can sometimes get, but regardless of any challenge that has come his way, his priority is that he is present in the lives of his children.

The featured image is of Jojo and his children all dressed up in the “Yesu” brand, which for me is a beautiful reflection of fatherhood.

We need to celebrate our AfroGlobal fathers and all Black positive male role models, now more than ever, but let’s not forget all the single mothers who have had no choice but to play the father’s role in the life of their children. It is also my personal belief that the “Father Effect” even without a physical male role model present in a child’s life, can be encouraged by developing a personal relationship with an invisible force which I like to refer to as Father God.

Happy Father’s Day!

Samantha Rockson

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