11 May Fathers do better for your children, says Phillips
Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips said fathers must take a more active role in the lives of their children to protect their stability, advancement and emotional wellbeing.
Dr. Phillips was addressing students and other young people at youth forum at the Sunnyside Resort in Westmoreland on May 5 as part of his Listening Tour.
“We can’t be in a country where a man feels a sense of pride by having five baby mothers,” he lamented to rousing applause. Describing that view as a carryover from slavery, he said it has to stop. “That kind of thinking was engineered hundreds of years ago when one set of people owned another. It was designed to breakdown, undermine and destroy family life,” he said.
He pointed out that fathers owe it to their children to provide that emotional balance that would guide young men, especially, into becoming adults. Dr. Phillips recalled the days of a criminal gang called the Fatherless Crew that terrorized sections of the Corporate Area pointing out that they wreaked mayhem in the communities in which they operated.
“They were also acting out on that void and hurt that they felt because of that missing paternal element in their lives,” the former National Security Minister pointed out.
Dr. Phillips made the comment in response to questions he got from the teens relating to violence against women and children which were mainly committed by young males.
The Opposition leader said that the level of violence being meted out to women must be addressed in a direct way and that the pattern of behaviour by some males is a continuation of what was instilled during the era of slavery.
Also addressing the family as a whole, Dr. Phillips said that parents must become more involved in the lives of their children. “Some teachers are reporting that some parents only come to school once a year and that is on the first day. I know you have to work and I know that times are hard, but try to beg one day off work to check up on your youths,” he said.
Dr. Phillips had strong words for those who would exploit children. “We must identify them and start to hold them responsible in law,” he said.