2. I have been blessed with two sons and one granddaughter.
3. Toughest part of your Job as a Dad / Mistake(s) made/ Any Regrets in your journey.
The toughest part of being a father was during the formative to early teenage years in my sons’ development. It was tough because I was constantly required to share myself and time with demanding Church duties, and teaching at the Barbados Community College. Church duties were like never-ending demands since as Pastor you are on call to your congregation. I taught during evening hours when my sons were returning home from day school and would have benefited from my physical and emotional presence. I arrived home late most nights, which was hardly enough time for fellowship and conversation with my sons before bedtime. While I preferred to teach during the daytime, I had no control over the scheduling of my classes. Regrettably, I needed to teach outside of my regular church duties to supplement my income.
My greatest mistake/regret was not spending more quality time with my sons. You always think your children would understand your need to work sometimes during unusual hours to support them, but they are often too young to comprehend such realities. What I now know more clearly is that nothing can substitute for the time a father spends with his children especially during their formative, childhood, and early teenage years. Unfortunately, most fathers show their love for their children by providing materially for them, but you learn as the children get older, that the most precious gift you could have given was your physical and emotional presence. I think that is why mothers usually get the accolades from their children because they get to spend more physical and emotional time with them during those precious years.
Another mistake was not verbalizing more to my sons how much I loved them, even when my heart was bursting with joy and pride as I watched them grow and mature. I think we fathers assume that our children will know how much we love them by what we do for them.
4. Greatest Joy experienced in your role.
Babysitting my first son and knowing how to do it effectively and watching him learn to make his first independent step in the backyard of our house after he refused to walk on his own for two years.
Taking and collecting my second son daily from day nursery and taking him to all his doctor’s appointments while his mother went off to work since I worked from home.
Knowing what to do when my sons were sick as babies, especially when sickness visited during the night.
Another of my joys was not having to be a disciplinarian to my sons but watching them comply and act obediently to simple verbal and other forms of instructions. I would often tell my students that I can count on one hand how many times I spank my first son, but never once did I have to spank my second son.
Giving them both the right to make their independent choices as they grew older, except in such cases when a particular choice may have caused them harm. I made it my business not to impose my personal preferences on them even when others thought I should, allowing them to mature and develop into the men they are today.
Seeing my sons come to follow Christ and being baptized into the Christian faith
Teaching them how to be kind and caring to others and watching them exhibit those behaviors in their lives even now.
5. Nugget(s) of Wisdom you would want to share with other Dads.
Spend quality time with your children when they are younger even if the demands of life would not allow you to give the quantity time you may want. They will remember that for the rest of their lives.
Tell your children your story. By that I mean, tell them about your life growing up. It will be of great value to them, and they will have a greater appreciation for you and your life’s journey.
Don’t just love them in your heart, verbalize it to them daily. Never let your children think that it is the mother who alone loves them.
Let them see your humanity, mistakes and all, and show them how you can overcome such mistakes.
Pray for your children, but also pray with them individually. Let them hear you call their names before God.
Create a safe emotional zone between you and your children so that they may feel safe telling you any and everything about what is happening in their lives, especially when they mess up, knowing that their Dad, even if he has to discipline, will help them to find the path to restoration.