To the Source:
I found Richard L. Brown's Op-ed piece "Through the eyes of a child" very insightful and felt compelled to answer. Unfortunately, there are so many children just like the 14-year-old in his article. Responsible fatherhood is something that has been on the decline in our community for many years in the Virgin Islands and abroad.
I am a native Crucian who has lived abroad for many years. The attitude that I left behind is still being passed down through the generations like an heirloom. Our fathers need to treat their daughters as queens, so that this is only kind of behavior in a man they should tolerate. Our fathers neglect to tell their sons that one mother of your children should be enough. As a teen-ager, a classmate of mine took pride in fathering three different children within the same year with three different mothers. The young man had no source of income, but that did not stop him from inpregnating three different women.
We have to teach our children about being responsible parents like we teach them to make up their beds, say their prayers, brush their teeth and tie their shoes. More often than not, the reason most of the children in the Virgin Islands and abroad live in single-parent homes is because of that macho attitude, "the more, the merrier we are."
Most men think that having more than one woman is macho. It is not. We are teaching our young men irresponsibility, and that is causing a decline in children living in the household with their fathers. Mistakes will be made, but as the world is speeding through technology, there are better contraceptive methods. We have to teach our children morality, respect and dignity. We have to be the village we used to be..
Our women are queens, the mothers of your children, and no disrespect for a woman will be tolerated. We have to teach our daughters if a man cannot respect you and wait, then he is not worthy of you. We have to teach our daughters to love yourself first before you can love another.
Unfortunately for the young lady in Mr. Brown's article, she will miss having a father to discuss the do's or don't's with, a shoulder to cry on, a grandfather for her children when she has children. Her father will not see her on her first date, and that is his loss. Many fathers think that providing financial support is the only connection they have with their children. Children are more that a financial responsibility (for those who do provide). They are an obligation. Just about any man can cause a woman to conceive a child, but it takes a "real man" to be a father.
Parenthood should be our highest priority in our communities. For every second you spend with your child, think of the dividends of your labor in years to come. Imagine being a grandfather and seeing the qualities you have instilled in your son or daughter being passed on like an heirloom.
Fatherhood is a choice!
Cindy M. Sergent-Rogers
Crucian concerned about our future!
Ypsilanti, Mich.


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