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Last Updated: Friday, 23 July, 2004, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Do absent dads hurt the family?
Myroslav Kuyaldin
Myroslav hasn't seen his Nigerian father in 25 years

Myroslav Kuvaldin is a very popular television presenter and musician in Kiev, Ukraine.

As one of the few black Ukrainians, he has had difficulty blending into the country of his birth.

He has recently been to Nigeria for the first time, trying to find his father, a man he hasn't seen since he was four years old.

His mother and grandmother have given him some accounts of his father but details remain sketchy.

Before making the trip, he sent an open letter to a Nigerian newspaper, asking for information on his father.

Dear Dad, if you read this letter, and if you would be willing to meet me, please, reply to my e-mail address.
Myroslav Kuvaldin

He managed to speak to him on the phone and arrange a meeting.

Like Myroslav, many African children have grown up without their fathers.

In parts of southern Africa for instance, many households are run by women because men have gone away to work in towns or countries across the border or have died from Aids-related diseases. Elsewhere people have lost their fathers through war or divorce.

And of course there are many men who choose not to be part of the family.

BBC Africa Live would like to know your opinion on absent fathers. Is a family incomplete if the father is not there? How is life different if there is no father at home?

This debate has now closed. Here's a selection of your comments.

In Liberia we can't call a group of people a family if they don't have a father.
Paul J. Somah, Liberia

The physical or emotional absence of a father is a major cause of a broken society. Removing or neutralising the role of fathers is a major strategy to destabilise society.
Noe Maill, Okrah, USA

It takes two to make babies. Doesn't nature itself teach us that it will take two to raise them? The fact is, real men stand by their partners at all times
Jude Ogwu, Nigerian in Canada

Society tends to isolate the role of men as just being the providers and disciplinarians.
Khatundi Nabwala Wakhungu, USA

African societies are patriarchal and consequently have suffered greatly due to absent fathers. I think many men have not faced up to their responsibilities and this has had a profound effect on their children. My mother raised me and did an exceptional job, however, I still needed my father to play an active role in my upbringing. Society tends to isolate the role of men as just being the providers and disciplinarians. Besides anger, showing any other emotion is impossible.
Khatundi Nabwala Wakhungu, USA

It is a very good thing for the parents to be together and take responsibility for their children. I was lucky that my father and mother were together for over 28 years before my daddy answered the call of the Almighty. Today, my siblings and I have every reason to thank God and my parents for their roles in our lives. Parents should pray for you together, discipline you together and love you together. I love my parents
Kunle Adeogun, Nigeria

I work as an adults literacy educator in a men's prison. Most prisoners grew up in homes with no father present.
Richard Hicks, Amarillo Texas USA

I live away from my family in South Africa. We live apart, not by choice but because of politics. I love my wife and children and want them to be with me, but at the moment it is just not viable for me to live in South Africa and support them at the same time. It's a sacrifice I have to make until such time I can be with them again.
Ryan, UK, formerly South Africa

Ideally, a family should have both parents to ensure a wholesome experience for the kids. It's important for parents to realise the enormous part they play in parenting. I was extremely fortunate in having grown up with both parents and I feel sorry for many people who were denied that experience. Nevertheless, I appreciate the fact that certain circumstances make it impossible for fathers to be around.
Uche Okagbue, USA

In Europe it is easy to divorce and the children normally go to the mother. In most cases the mother paints a bad image of the father, hence the men keep their distance. In Africa, women who are working would not tolerate an unemployed husband sitting at home. Generally it is felt that the man should fend for the family and work. In short, lets not point fingers at men and look at every situation individually.
Brian Mphande, Finland

I grew up as an orphan, but luckily there was an SOS Children's village in Ethiopia with a replacement mother whom I still have a very strong bond with. The lack of a male figure, however, has definitely not been a positive influence in my life. I personally believe that my indecisiveness has a lot to do with not having a male figure head to be there and give me the confidence to stand on my own.
Eze, USA

It takes the whole village to a raise a child and this includes the father. Joint parental responsibility is a key factor in culturing children. Most men are bread winners and women stay at home to bring up the kids. This has been the tradition in most African countries. In the west, men who don't want to raise kids are running away from their responsibilities. It will take a lot to overturn this attitude.
Reinford Mwangonde, St.Louis, USA

I grew up without my father - he was arrested due to political instability. I don't miss my father because I had a father figure who replaced my biological father. That person was my grandfather.
Jared A, USA

As a child of a fatherless home, I know all too well how devastating the effect can be. In order for a child to grow into an emoitionally and psychologically stable person, that child needs daily access to both male and female role models who take up both authoritarian and nurturing roles. No person is better equipped to do that than their parents, whether by biology or adoption. I don't find it surprising that as the number of fatherless families increase, so does the number of ill-prepared people trying to maintain healthy relationships.
John, USA

Too much credit is being given to fathers. My dad died when I was six leaving a widow and six children. My mother has seen all six of us receive university degrees. Life is very possible, even without fathers.
James Kanyotu, Kenya

Growing up without a father is hell on earth
Paul Kudinha, Zimbabwe

Growing up without a father is hell on earth. I grew up without one. The number one question that will never leave you is 'where is my father?' Relatives and friends will mock you and say that illegitimate children are a problem. This results is an emotionally unstable, irresponsible child who is likely to repeat his father's mistakes. A father in the home is like what water is to thirst.
Paul Kudinha, Zimbabwe

I'm an Indian expatriate and I've been in Kigali since March 2000. My wife and 2 year old son are in India. Although I'm away from them, I always try to make them feel that they are not very far away. I visit them two or three times a year and spend considerable time with them. We exchange e mails daily and phone each other weekly. Children are a source of joy for parents and I miss my son very much. I've realised that it is very important for me to be with my son and help him to grow. It is going to have a negative impact on him if I'm going to be away from him for a long time. So, I've decided to leave Rwanda for good and in December I'll be with my family.
Albert P'Rayan, Indian expat in Kigali, Rwanda

As a women raising her children alone, I want to say that although they have become wonderful caring people, a father figure was sorely missed by them. Their father was an alcoholic and wife beater, but their ties to him will always be strong. It is sad that many men are not able to take on the responsibility of teaching and being a role model, however, it is better not to have a father in the home than to have one who is abusive and non -caring. Love is the key to all things.
Gabrielle Perry, Germany

My mother is great but my late father was irresponsible. I am grown up now and wish that he could have been there more for my siblings and myself. The irony of ironies is that, I am now taking care of two children who've been abandoned by their mothers! I would never have expected mothers to be this way, but there it is!
Robert Alu, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

As a child who grew up without a father, the impact was small because I never knew him (you do not necessarily know what you are missing). I think it is far harder on children who knew their father for a while before the father became absent. I do not know what I have missed, but 35 years later, I am curious to know who he is, but the search for him has proved fruitless.
Brian, USA

Parenting is a vital stage in the development of one's life. Dads revive the home, give strength, warmth and respect to their family. A Dad is always needed and is greatly missed when he is absent. I just love my Dad. Dads are phenomenal.
Stehphen T Marvie, Liberia

Of course absent dads hurt the family! Many kids end up doing drugs and crime because of the lack of a male figure. I think kids tend to behave well and do well in school if they have a loving father in their life.
Haji, USA

Most Africans are deprived of their obligations to take care of their kids due to inhuman laws in foreign countries. Most Africans become fathers while studying abroad. Inhumane laws do not allow these fathers to stay with their new born and deliver their fatherly obligations. Instead, they are forced out of these countries when their visas expire. Kids are therefore forced to be brought up without a father.
Ombala Yu Shimba, USA

I have a longing to know about my Nigerian heritage. My father came to the US from Nigeria and has been there ever since. When I was 5 my parents fell out and my father fled. There was no trace of his culture left and I didn't see him again until I was at university. Although I am no longer angry, I may never understand how anyone could abandon a child, particularly a father from a culture that values children so much.
Diepiriye S. Kuku-Siemons, New Delhi, India

I truly believe whole-heartedly that having a father in the home makes a huge difference, especially if he knows what his role is in the family. I thank God every day for blessing me with my father who has been in my life from the day I was born. I have friends that grew up without their fathers and our thought processes, conversation and actions are completely different.
Martha, Zambia

I grew up with the love of both parents and life was good. Both parents are needed for the social and economic equilibrium of the child. If a father cannot provide a wholesome environment where a child feels safe, loved and hopeful, what role does he then model to the child? Although some successful adults have been raised by single mothers, there is always a part of them that wants to know where they come from.
Fathers, face up to your responsibilities and keep in touch with your children!
Juliana, Nigerian in USA
Can you imagine what would happen if these fathers have other children elsewhere and none of them knew one another? There could be inter family dating and marriages! Incest would be no fault of these children. Fathers, face up to your responsibilities and keep in touch with your children!
Juliana, Nigerian in USA

Surely, an emotionally absent dad has a worse effect on a child than a physically absent one. Many Nigerian dads judge their children by the quality of their grades when they're little and by their earning potential when they're older. Basically, a Nigerian dad is only interested in his child if they become a successful doctor, lawyer or accountant. Hopefully the western concept of a dad being there for a child emotionally, will eventually take root in Nigeria.
Anne Evans, England

Absent dads need to be punished by God, especially those who intentionally forsake their families. Why would you have kids and just them? If you don't want to have a family, then forget about having sex. Women should not be used as sex objects. They are humans and need to be cared for. This is one of the worst crimes a man can commit against his family.
Thomas Fahn, Liberian in USA

It depends on when the dad left. If the child was born without a dad being around and the mum has settled for a single life, then the child will be ok. It is the part time dads that are ruining families. If you want to be a dad, plan on being there when your child is growing up, otherwise get lost and never come back.
Stephen Gitau, Kenyan in USA

A family should include both parents. Many men are only capable of siring children but not being a parent. This is selfish, especially for children left to suffer a harsh life, poor livelihoods and lack of education. I grew up without a father (due to death) and I find it very difficult to relate to male relatives.
Kay Em, Sierra Leone

I don't agree with the person who says that 'Often children that appear to be abandoned by their fathers are actually victims of their mother's bitterness.' I say this because in an African setting, men do walk away and abandon children and wives or girlfriends. I had a baby when I was sixteen, the father disappeared when he heard I was pregnant. Now ten years later he wants to walk back in. Would you trust such a man? Would you let him walk into your daughter's life, not knowing how soon it will be 'incovenient' again and he will walk out again? Would you call me bitter?
Charity, Malawi

Sympathy for either the children or the mother is not enough reason to stay with the mother - just to avoid making your children fatherless. I just can't stand women who try to take advantage of men through children. We will always be on the run!!!
Linje, Australia

Fathers may matter but when they are not there and the woman really knows that she is solely responsible for the bringing up the children, she can do so excellently. The six of us were entirely brought up by our illiterate mother. We are all responsible now and have tertiary education though our mother was very poor.
Kingsley, USA

I don't see any thing wrong with fathers who move somewhere to work so that their kids can have quality education, food and healthcare rather than live at the mercy of our corrupt, money greedy politicians.
Monyoro Alex, Sudanese in Australia

When I hugged my wife, my son pushed me away from his mother
Modisane, South Africa

I'm presently serving a tour of duty under the UN. Per chance I went home for a funeral and to see my son not recognising me immedialtely, killed me. When I hugged my wife, my son pushed me away from his mother . It took a lot of effort for us to rekindle our relationship and since I was there for only a few days, can you imagine what its going to be like when I get back? Fortunately my wife tells me that my son tells every one tha"papa Modisane, is coming back from Burundi tomorrow" which means he has not forgotten me just my appearence is the one he does not constantely see. For that I'm grateful.
Modisane from South Africa presently in Burundi

Single parenting will always hurt the family, especially one that arises from a divorce or separation. Currently, I am single parenting and I know what it takes. Children who have lived with both parents before, know the anguish of settling down with one.
Kelly Chubili, zambia

In South Africa there are a lot of foreign men who lie to women who give in to their lies and get pregnant after which the man runs away, to continue with their promiscous behaviour somewhere else.
Nagire, Pretoria, South Africa

Mothering comes naturally to mothers, becoming a father is a decision to want that tie.
Dieter Samsel, France

I have the feeling that any parent, whether mother or father that knowingly or unknowingly fails to perform their duty as a parent, will surely live to reap the fruit sown; here or thereafter.
Christian Merenini, Nigeria

Not really. "Hurt" only comes when there is no love, unfaithfulness, distrust, dishonesty, no respect etc. What matters is the relationship, and the love that exist amonsgt the family, not really the presence of a dad. For there are families with dads that have always let the kids regret having being born of that father.I have a nephew who lost his dad when he was still a kid, but has never really been hurt because of the love the mother and us the family showed to him.
Bezeng Joey Esoh, Cameroonian studying in South Africa

As the saying goes," Elephants are never tired of carrying their tusks",This is a responsibility that men have willingly agreed to pursue. Sometimes children are used as scapegoats to advance personal demands, which will in the long run act to the detriment of the children's future.
Tom Alfred, Australia

If yours is as absent as mine was, you become disillusioned when you finally learn about his real nature
Weru Macharia, Kenyan in France

I first met my father when I was almost nine. I never lived with him just visited. If I was asked 15 years ago if not having a father around affected me I would say no, but now I am older - 33 - I know I definately missed out. I didnt know what I was missing until I met the father of a friend, he calls all his children's friends his own. Some of his own children didn't appreaciate what they had!

If your father is permanently absent, save for a few spells when he shows up, you only tend to see one side of him. And if yours is as absent as mine was, you become disillusioned when you finally learn about his real nature.It is as if you built an image of your dad which is not his. When I realised the real nature of my own dad, I just thanked God my mum was around.
Weru Macharia, Kenyan in France

I think the bottomline is: what does a father's presence in the home mean, emotionally and materially? What should it mean? While a father's crucial role is to compliment the nuturing care of a mother and support children materially and emotionally, in some cases families might be better off without one especially if he is abusive, uncaring and does not take seriously his responsibilities.
Esther, Kenya

My ex husband left us, me and our daughter when she was just 5 weeks old. I am an African woman from Congo, he is British. The toughest thing I have ever done, is to raise our daughter by myself. She is only 4 and still asks for him. She feels incomplete, especially when she looks at other children. Last night she asked me "why he doesn't love her mum". It doesn't matter how many times I tell her that he loves her. Everyone needs a father whether that father deserve the role or not, because it is for the benefit of the child.
Ange Parker, Ireland

Please do not be so quick to judge absent fathers, some are denied the right to actively participate and contribute to their child's development by the mother, out of spite and bitterness stemming from a relationship breakdown. This occurs a lot in Europe where the law favours the mother more than the father of the child.
Fathers Right, UK

I am lucky to have had a loving and doting father and mother under a polygamous setting. That notwithstanding, my father was interested in educating us, no discrimination between girls and boys, and by 9pm, his gates would be locked against the wolves. I was also lucky in that he escorted me to the altar to marry a nice and wonderful guy who was never an absent husband or absent father to his children. Unfortunately my husband died last year without my daughters getting the privelege of their dad holding their hand at their wedding. But I'm grateful that he was around to see the last become a graduate before he decided to die, or better still, before the good Lord took him away from us.
Oyebola Adetula, Addis Ababa ( A Nigerian), Ethiopia

Most fathers in Africa take their 'head of the family' role to great extremes, such that they are not approachable
Natasha, Malawi

Most fathers are figureheads. They work long hours and when they come home, they just criticise and criticise. Mothers are the ones that nurture and shape the child, listen and really talk to them. Most fathers in Africa take their 'head of the family' role to great extremes, such that they are not approachable. I guess they learn this from their fathers. So, while many who do not have a father miss the 'father figure' in their lives, many who have are really not gaining much from having fathers.
Natasha, Malawi

I was raised without a father. My mother broke her back to study and work to support us at the same time. She done an exemplary job of which I am extremely proud. Building genuine self esteem under such conditions, and relating to others while harbouring such a fundamental difference in the basis of your very identity, is very trying indeed. Isolation never done any child any favours. Unstable children are more likely to become unstable adults. You don't believe me? Go to any rundown neigbourhood in any large settled location anywhere in the world and check out the fallout.
Kay Millan, London, UK

As a single parent I believe my child is better off without the father who never would not have given her the love she deserves. My child is now nine years and the father has made it clear to his relatives that he will never want anything to do with his illegitimate daughter. Although it pains me, I have vowed to myself that she should never know her father because I definitely know that he will not accept her as his own. I have even gone to the extend of informing both him and his relatives that child is not his child.

Literally speaking, the role of a father in the African context is considered to be that of the leader of the family. Thus his absence does reflect a serious default in the family well-being. Even where the father's contribution to the family welfare may be lacking, the African culture has taught us to respect his symbolic role as the main source of blessings for both the mother and the children. But in real terms, it's widely believed that mothers are more difficult to replace than fathers. The late Prince Nico Mbarga supported this argument in his musical hit "Sweet Mother". My late father hardly spend time at home. Off duty, he spends a greater part of his leiure time playing checkers with his friends under the big mango tree. But his presence in the neighbourhood used to be enough to force us into revising our lessons every evening.
Unisa Kanu, Saudi Arabia

I am a 26 year old woman in living in New York. I have grown up without my father and my mother for that matter. While I had a loving grandmother to take care of me it will never fill the void of not having a father figure in my life. The one who created me. I think it is more needed for boys to have a good father figure in they're lives. I think growing up without a father does mold who you become as an adult. But then again, everything you do, see, hear etc has a role to play in who you are when your an adult. Life experience.
Jaime, U.S

Some children even know their father's mistresses. Yet they turn out okay. So what is the big hulabaloo about?
Sandra, USA

It is western influence that is convincing children they need their fathers. In Nigeria most children do not see or speak to their fathers until they get into university. Yet they are mentally and emotionlly stable even more than children from double parent homes. Most children even beg to go away to boarding school. Parents including fathers do not even attend PTA meetings yet these children turn out okay. Some children even know their father's mistresses. Yet they turn out okay. So what is the big hulabaloo about?
Sandra, USA

I wonder why people hide behind such issues for their failings. In Myroslav's case, he had no father for all the years he was growing up yet managed to be a successful black person in a land dominated by white people. Such cases echoes through out the world. There are millions of "fatherless" people in the world but that should not be a hindrance to self development. I never had any dad because he walked out on us when we were little but we managed to pick ourselves up and now, non is the prouder than the strong African mother we have. Get moving 'fatherless' friend!!
Quami Yeboah, England

If a father abandons his family it is definately clear he is a terrible dad. I think it is better the children grow up alone with their mother than grow up seeing a terrible dad! This may be difficult for mothers but it is a better option.
Nandawula Juliet, Uganda

I am one of a single mother after our father was murdered during Amin's regim in Uganda. Living without a father can lead to a great disaster for the child if they fall into the hands of a weak woman. A child takes her/his basic learning and guide from the mother, but further guide would be expected first from the father, then if not that is when the growth of a child would end up in all sorts of mess.
David Kitara, Norway

Often children that appear to be abandoned by their fathers are actually victims of their mother's bitterness
Sean, Belgium

I see a close male friend of mine routinely denied access to his children that he loves so dearly. He lives in misery. The majority of court decisions regarding child custody favour the woman, and that custody stick is wielded with relish. Often children that appear to be abandoned by their fathers are actually victims of their mother's bitterness.
Sean, Brussels, Belgium

Of course, fathers play a critical role. Fathers provide examples to their daughters of what a future husbands should be like. They provide the second - male perspective to understsanding problems within male/female relationships. They also teach different things to boys - future men and fathers. From the African point of view, it takes more than 2 people to raise children. It actually takes a "village" to raise one child.
Cheryl Sanchez, London

If you were a muslim, then you would know about child custody according to Islamic Shariah Law which dictates that after the age of seven, custody should have been transferred to your father by your mother.
Patel, England

While the mother's love to her child is never questionable in a polygamous society, one will always doubt the love a child gets from the father. The father's presence in a child's life is important but it is worse if the mother is absent.
Hajir, Sweden

This is not a black and white issue like we may like to believe. There are gray areas we must also consider. Indeed a child's developement requires the present of both parents. But when a parent, in this case the father, is an abusive one, it's not worth it, having him live with his child.
Allieu Kamara, USA

My friend is looking forward to the day he can journey to Scotland to see his dad - all depends on whether he can ever raise the return fare!
Robert Alu, Tanzania

At 29 Miroslav finally has gotten to have a conversation with his father. I have followed Miroslav's story and am glad that, all in all, for him things have turned up quite well. It can be really traumatic for people who grow up in the knowledge that either of their parents is somewhere out of sight, but probably alive. I recently met a man in Dar es Salaam who does not know his father, the man left for his native Scotland when my friend was 2 or 3 years old, back in 1958! My friend is looking forward to the day he can journey to Scotland to see his dad - all depends on whether he can ever raise the return fare!
Robert Alu, Tanzania.

My dad left my mom when she was pregnant. I first met him when I was 13years old and the second time as an adult working for a bank in Sierra Leone. That's our relationship. My life was the best it can be because of a wonderful mother, who struggled to send me to school from selling oysters and anything she could sell. Strong legislations need to be passed in african parliaments to stop these men from bringing children to this world if they don't want them. To all African men please be there for your children even you don't love or want to be with their moms.
Alimamy Kheiyo - Sesay, USA/Sierra Leone

Raising a child as a single parent is more than a challenging task. Parents, our children need role models. Each one parent has unique attributes that kids look up to and learn from. Anytime that tiny piece or input goes missing, obviously the output process is altered either permanently or temporarily. They say, it takes a whole village to raise a child -My perception: the village has to start from your very household.
Jean, Vietnam

Almost every man can be a father but very few men are parents. for it takes a man of responsibilty and with responsibilty to be a parent.
David Banda, Zambia

As long as the man is not abusive or alcoholic, being a father to his kids is crucial. Human's need their fathers' affection just as much as they need a mothers'. Plus, the custody laws aren't fair for anyone, men are cut off from their kids and women bear the sole burden of raising the next generation! They literally sacrifice their adult life for their kids. It shouldn't be that way.
Khalil, Canada

Poverty and social decay caused by misrule and corruption assisted by western businesses, has had a devastating effect on family life in the developing countries. However many children in Europe are also growing up without fathers. The unbridled scramble for unlimited wealth by a few at the expense of the many is a symptom of the general social malaise of our times. Just how much money does one person need?
Rev. D. Agama, UK

Yes, it takes two to make one. An absent father can hurt the family if he is a good dad.
Ruth, Spain

A father is more than a member of the family who feeds you or asks you about your exams.
Rubaiya Alam, Bangladesh

I am a 14 years old girl who loves her dad more than anything else in her life. I have got a friend whose father is currently residing in Italy with her step-mother and receives his daughter with negligence. It is very pathetic to see that my friend, who is a girl of my age, does not have father to look up to. A father is more than a member of the family who feeds you or asks you about your exams. He is a part of yourself. To me the wole world revolves around him.
Rubaiya Alam, Bangladesh

As the child of an abusive father and stepfather, I can only say that no father at all is preferable to a brutal one. People rarely know when they're better off.
David Brown, United States

I was born and raised in Sierra Leone until I came to the U.S. in 2000 when I was only 16. I used to think that my dad did not like me. Most of the time, if I forget to do my home work, he would punish me. I never wanted him around. My mom on the other hand never cared much about my schooling. All she cared about was me being happy and always having a big happy smile. In hindsight it's made me realise why the absence of a father figure at home leads to trouble and suffering. Most of our fathers, want the best for us as kids. Any home where there is no father figure will always be incomplete.
Augustine Sesay, U.S/ Sierra Leone

Children that grow up without their father whether the man is dead or alive, should know that the greatest father they can ever get is the almighty God who will love you forever.
Ogbokor Elliot Elohor, Nigeria

No human with feelings will go through their whole life not wanting to know who part of their blood is, be it the father who is not around or the mother. It's a pity that divorce laws mostly favor women over men when it comes to custody of the kids.
Yves, The Netherlands

When a man says yes to fathering a child, it should mean much more to him than just sending a couple of dollars home every month
Cheryl, Canada

When a man says yes to fathering a child, it should mean much more to him than just sending a couple of dollars home every month. He also needs to take emotional responsibility in the up - bringing of his child as a good father. Don't just say that poverty forced you to leave - you should have thought of that before you fathered a child.
Cheryl, Canada

I think Myroslav Kuvaldin case is one of too many cases of fatherless kids around the world. It's most pathetic to see our fellow men neglecting their primary role in parenthood to their female folk out of one reason or the other. It's the duty of the man to take charge of the up bringing of the child most especially the male child. The authority of the father in the house always makes the difference.
Desmond Abiodun Oji, Lagos, Nigeria

It rather unfortunate that to see the devasting effect of single parenthood on homes, especially the children and single mothers due to economic pressure or negligence. We can see its adverse effect on the moral conduct of children. For example teenage prostitution, youth crimes drug use etc. A true home calls for the adequate presence of both mother and father. We need our fathers!
Ayodele Olanipekun, Nigeria

We shouldn't forget that not everyone is capable of being a father. Some men are capable of just reproducing babies
Niyi, USA

In some certain situations, the absence of the father could be because of the economical status of the country. Take for example, a man who is not able to provide for his family, because he can't find a job at home. He decides to go away to so he can provide for his family. On one hand, this man's actions come out of the deep love he has for his family but at the expense of his children who need a male role model around. I believe the bottom line is that such children would turn out okay if they have a strong mother and responsible relatives. We shouldn't forget that not everyone is capable of being a father. Some men are capable of just reproducing babies, but a father always stands up to take care of his responsibilties.
Niyi, USA

It is like a body without a head. Just imagine how it will look like - incomplete.
Alexander Oragui, Nigeria

We need to realize the following; Children always need an example to look up to and mothers tend to spoil children without a father. Also a father leaving might cause a child to be distrustful of everyone, even close relatives and friends.
Jouke Voolstra, The Netherlands

I know many people who moan about their parents. They don't realise how lucky they are to have one at all.
Anonymous, New York

I'm a 22 year old Nigerian and lost both my parents when I was 9. I grew up with relatives and it hasn't been a bed of roses. When they do you wrong, you can't really complain because its like they are doing you a favour by taking you into their home - but they might as well have let you walk the streets. More often than not you are reminded of that fact directly or indirectly. I know many people who moan about their parents. They don't realise how lucky they are to have one at all. Nonetheless, I don't think having one or both parents really makes any real difference to what you are destined to become in the future.
Anonymous, New York, USA

No, all my dad did was beat me, drink and smoke.
Frank Reynolds, Spain, USA

When my first child was born it took me 10 months to see him. Again, I was away from him and his younger brother for a year and a half, when they were 4 and 2, respectively. Though my sweet wife did a wonderful job of taking excellent care of them in my absence, the difference showed any time I came back to Canada for holidays. My absence reflected in their mood and in the academic performance of my older child. His teachers have commented on his superior performance since my permanent return to Canada. This is not to be interpreted as a sign of male superiority but the need for a gender balance in the raising up of children, the emotional well-being and stability of the family.
Kwadwo Appiagyei - Atua, Canada


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