Come home …

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When i was younger i learnt about the ‘brain drain’ theory in school. It’s real. The ‘brain drain’ is the departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another usually for better pay or living conditions and guess where most of the drain ended up. In America.

For so many years the Caribbean has seen some of its best succumb to the allure of the American currency and so has many other nations. Citizens leave and pledge allegiance to the good old USofA and forget that their homeland need their talent, their wisdom and economics and their taxes to grow.

When i was younger i imagined people coming off the plane in New York City and a mesmerizing wind took away their senses. That could be the only explanation for leaving children to be called barrel babies and leaving parents to grow old and die without them. America was hypnotic black magic to my little mind. Today my family and my heart is in Trinidad so there is no temptation to find out what lies beyond the magic flight.

That said, i want immigrants to know that every time a professional chooses to work in another country or build a business in another land, the economy at home losses out on your contribution. Yes, go to the country educated yourself, learn a new skill, absorb everything but please come home. It’s time to turn the ‘brain drain‘ into a ‘brain gain.

I know today there are many second generations Caribbean national who were born and raised in America and its all you know but just like your grandparents who moved seeking better, you also have the option of moving back and not just because of the political climate but because you are a part of something more. You are always welcome because you can build a brighter future.

The economic climate in the Caribbean 50 years ago was very different from today. Today we are on the threshold of rapid economic growth, with technological advances and infrastructural growth. It’s a great time to help grow something that appreciates your effort. It’s time to MAKE the CARIBBEAN GREAT.

make-the-carib-great  Today you can return and be your own boss. You can apply to jobs from America at www.caribbeanjobs.com and come to the island prepared.

Don’t wait until you are deported or frustrated, make this an option upfront. After College say to yourself i wonder what the Caribbean offers. Come back home with granny and visit the beach every weekend, explore all your options.

 

Come home.

Empress_Expressions

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What Successful Women Leaders do best?

What Women Leaders do best?

When a woman says to me she’s made it and all she really did was blend in with all the men around her, I shudder. #YesAllWomen need leaders who will carry the voice of women to the top and effect policy changes in favor of equality. Don’t just put on those high heels every day and keep our focus on the glass ceiling, because somebody said you need to break it to prove our worth.

These are my top five to what successful female leaders do best.

 1. MOVE ON FROM A BAD BOSS

When you are hired it’s a mutual agreement between you and your employer. You are not agreeing to be someone’s slave; you work so the company can grow. You work hand in hand towards a mutual goal. Many times women with bad bosses say; “well what am I going to do, I need a job.” If you stay and endure because of a salary, you have just nipped your leadership potential in the bud. Women Leaders move on from bad bosses because they know their worth. This is a trait of key movers and shakers, being able to identify when a situation isn’t worth it. We can all tell when the boss we are paired with isn’t an enabler. These women move on strategically and diplomatically but the key is they move on quickly. Moving on from a bad boss is essential whether you are a man or a woman. You can’t grow and hone leadership skills if you are suppressed.

 2. GIVE THEMSELVES CONSENT TO HAVE A LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK

Women leaders are comfortable having a family and a private cause without worrying about how it will affect work. These women don’t shy away from work-life balance and they don’t ask permission. They broach the topic confidently and are comfortable stating their situation and are usually quick to offer a trade-off that is in the employer’s favor when they need time off. They usually take leading roles in social clubs, charity groups or other associations. They are comfortable spreading themselves but there is no doubt they will still be the best at work in spite of the other areas they commit to.

3. THEY OWN THEIR SUCESSS

Getting to the top is not something that they see as someone else’s responsibility. They do the work and they expect to move to the next step. These women work hard and go beyond what is expected not so much to impress but because it is something innate to their character.

 4. CONFIDENT

Confidence is the key to Leadership. If you are not willing to say you are aiming for your boss’s job, you will never get it. Maybe you should be buying company shares so one day your boss will be working for you. Women Leaders are not afraid to think big and act bigger. They have a firm belief in self; it’s really not anyone’s business to cheer you on every day, all the time. There comes a point when you either have what it takes or you don’t. Women Leaders see no difference between having their cake and eating it.

 5. FEMININE

Yes, I dared say the “F” word which seemed to be ranking foul these days. Many times I see women holding back the core of what makes them unique leaders because they don’t want to seem weak in public.  There are so many situations we don’t let our weapons of tears fall out for, we don’t let on that we feel something is a travesty of mind-blowing dimension because we will be called “too dramatic.” Sometimes, we need to bring this to the boardroom, to those high powered meetings so other people wouldn’t be so quick to brush important issues under the table. Let your emotions show, the world needs emotions now more than ever before.

We need a world where leadership is not gender specific but goal specific and woman are free to be the leaders they want to be. Until then we will keep climbing indefinitely because we haven’t changed the rules of the game into something we are interested in playing.

The world needs Women Leaders whose only concern with the glass ceiling is to recycle it. #YesAllWomen

Marsha Gomes-Mckie

http://www.marshgomes.com

 

 

Parenting and Intimacy

I tend to always put my daughter’s needs over my husbands’ and I am sure he isn’t mad at me for it because he does the same. When it was just both of us in the house we had a wonderful sex life that explored and tested every piece of furniture in the house (big smile).
Now as a parent of a very clingy child, keeping the passion alive has become harder but not impossible. It’s no longer passion on impulse but it’s scheduled, which sounds horrible but it has the same end effect, so why fuss over it. The main point is that we maintain our intimacy, which drives the passion. One day our daughter will be gone and it will just be the two of us and if we don’t find a way to keep the passion alive during that transition we may even find ourselves divorced, before she grows up.
Parenting is very important but marriage is also important and so many times we choose one over the other because we have work and bills and school stuff… and the one most women choose is parenting. (Splitting with husband ‘is not a major worry for over-40s’).
I always say that of all the reasons to break up, lack of intimacy isn’t going to be on my list as it gives me a welcomed release to the day as much as it gives him. So I will love to find out ways in which parent’s keep the intimacy alive.
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My Debut Novel Lightning Fire: The Blue Moon’s Calling (Book 1) is out and available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Find me on Facebook and Twitter

Marsha
http://www.marshagomes.com/romance-novels.html
“Life is in the Living and the Giving”

Happy Daddy’s day

Happy Father’s Day!!

Father’s day is tomorrow and I never know what to buy. Not because I don’t know what my father likes, it’s just that I don’t like what my father likes and I feel uneasy finding a gift out of my comfort zone.

So it usually boils down to generics like alcohol, jerseys or trinkets.

The art of giving a gift – a memorable gift – to someone who likes different things is about giving yourself enough time to shop, so that you will come out of your comfort zone.  The best gift is really something someone would like, not something that you would like to get. So if you haven’t bought anything yet you may be heading down the generic lane, but keep asking yourself. “What would they like before you swipe”.

Have a Happy Father’s day everyone or like my daughter’s says, “Have a happy Daddy’s day!

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www.marshagomes.com

The battle against the little ones

Do I want my daughter to be the type of person who questions limitations, who goes against the crowd, who tries out new things and doesn’t take no for an answer? Do I want her to dance when everyone else is sitting and sing when everyone else is reading? Do I want her to use her imagination and think out of the box?  The answer is yes, but not always now when I am trying to finish a job for a client, or when I’m rushing out the door in the morning, not when the alarm hasn’t yet rung and I am getting my final bliss of sleep. However life seldom works that way.

I looked up at five o’clock this morning and heard a voice, far too loud for the morning quiet announcing that she wanted something to drink. It was not really a request but a bold statement of fact. So I stayed still, and surveyed the little one with what I hoped was becoming my dreaded my mummy eyes. She did not falter, she announced that I had a hole in my jersey which led to an investigation of where the hole went – the hole nonetheless was the result of same said little being a few weeks ago whose memory conveniently comes and goes. She then began an impromptu song about being the last hero which ended in a soprano shriek in decibels that I could not decipher. I remained calm, knowing full well that my will was being tested. I too thought about a drink and was momentarily comforted that there are some things I didn’t have to share just yet.

I received a series of kisses and then I heard a short quiet breath of impatience which ended in a loud resonating, “Mayed(sic) I have something to drink please? I replied, as calm as the morning air, ‘Of course,  and headed towards the kitchen. We chatted about her sleep and her day ahead and I reminded her that she didn’t have to shout for me to hear her. Even though her eyes didn’t seem convinced of the fact she replied. ‘Yes mummy’.

I smiled, knowing full well that we would have this conversation again tomorrow.

We often forget that our little ones see the world through us; they test us to judge how other people will react to them. It’s not always because they are being rude but because we are a safe sounding board. If she tells me a joke and I don’t laugh, she may not be brave enough to tell anyone else that joke. For them we are the box that they are trying to think out of, we are people who are sitting so they have the urge to stand. Our home, our jobs, our perimeters are not their destination, it’s their starting point to move forward; to find their own.

If we are lucky, they’ll leave and realize our grass was green, and they will decide that their version of green will encompass what was important to us as well.

If you want your child to be the type of person that questions limitation, that goes against the crowd, who tries out new things and doesn’t take no for an answer? You need to understand that one day he/she will tell you no, he/she will question your limitations. That day will come, if you grew then strong enough, wise enough and brave enough, all you have to be concerned about is your reaction when it happens.

I have indicated to my daughter that I wouldn’t move unless she asked properly for something. She usually gets juice n the morning, sometimes without asking, but she’s developing a personality, she’s testing me. I am her world right now so I am also her ‘guinea-pig’ (as they say); she finds great joy in trying to wear me out, to see if I would break my resolve. There is mischievousness in her spirit, which is very much like her father, who makes me smile. I see it; I understand it even though she may not. In keeping my resolve I am teaching her a lesson, in letting her develop her spirit without shouting or condemnation I am also teaching her a lesson.

I am not concerned with her antics; she is a child, just as I was.

I am concerned with my response.

I ask her opinion openly about many things and other things are rules, for safety and my sanity. We will not always be together so I want to set the trend but allow her to be herself comfortably so that when she is alone it becomes second nature.

XXX

Who has the time and energy to be Mother Theresa, everyday?

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How do we start to give? Will we be able to maintain the momentum? Are we really ready to open ourselves up to what giving entails?

Many people, including me, hesitate to give the homeless money because we don’t know what they’re going to do it (we ask ourselves why are they homeless, are they on drugs and why can’t they get a job). I would rather give money to a charity, or buy a ticket for a show or something impersonal that does not require forming an attachment to an individual. I’m a good person; I just don’t want to get too involved with goodness.

That’s the lie I’ve been telling myself for a while. I am the type of person whose mind goes into overdrive on approaching a homeless person or beggar and you see the dilemma on my face, take out my wallet or walk faster.  I’ve struggled with giving to strangers because I am afraid that they will follow me home, that they will remember me next time I pass and ask me directly for money or worst case become violent, if I start and then stop giving them. I want to give but I always hesitate.

I would like to become the power of one, to give without hesitation, I rather suspect that giving isn’t only about the people who we give to; it’s also about building our own character. Finding our own personal inner salvation, this isn’t about religion or redemption, but just good living.

Giving isn’t about sympathy, giving is about strength of heart and of mind. The strongest of us give everything they have to move our generation into new levels of thinking, of caring.

Giving has been glamorized over the years but I ask you today to take GIVING back to its rightful place, around the FAMILY TABLE.

You and your family should come together to give, you may be out of pocket of a few dollars but what you create is a life-long memory that your children will take with them, an indelible lesson that will attach itself to your child’s character, which will become a priceless souvenir that will help them understand the true meaning of life.

Making a difference no matter how small brings great returns to your family life. So sit with your family and find an avenue to give, whether it is a charity or a home or a needy family in the neighborhood. Let the entire family as a team volunteer once a year or more to prepare a meal for home, clean up a beach, do a charity walk, and let it be natural. If you like animals work in that area, if you like nature – do something to save the environment. There’s no right or wrong way to give as long as you make it a family effort.

A great charity to support is Charity Water and I have signed up to build a well or two, donate to my campaign today at http://mycharitywater.org/trinidadcarnival2013 and start giving.

It’s time to start

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I dreamt about a Duck with red boots, a frog who didn’t like to eat flies, a hungry caterpillar and a moose who liked to drink juice.

I dreamt about a butterfly, who told stories while sitting on a piece of old wood, of pink skies and mango colored rainbows.

A diamond shattered bracelet, a man who knew how to fix it. A moon so bright beside stars with red lights.

A soucouyant and a banyan tree, a mystery and a robbery.

I dreamt of dreaming and woke up laughing, it’s good to know that you are still there, waiting …

It’s been a while and i neglect to invite you to awake with me,

I promise to put pen to paper another day

Look at how the day has passed.

I’ll dream another dream of dreaming, please don’t think of leaving.

I know I neglect to invite you to come with me, but I promise to put pen to paper today.

Why the Pope’s resignation was the best thing for the Catholic Church.

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I am a Christian and I don’t believe in religion.

That very sentence seems to contradict itself, however I believe that there is a God and I accept the bible to be the ultimate guide, however I see today’s religion as complicating that which is simple; a call for persons to fellowship by forming churches has turned into politics.

I love reading and before I was eighteen, I decided to find the most influential book of all time and read it. This book turned out to be the bible. I would be lying if I said I read it diligently, it took me a year and I still fall asleep through the genealogy chapters like Leviticus.  In reading this book for myself – and not waiting for a Priest/Pastor to dictate it to me over my years – I became fully aware that the book could be taken out of context, chapters read in isolation could mean different things according to different agendas.

Since, I didn’t need someone to explain the bible to me, going to church then became more about fellowship. I joined church groups, I volunteered, I tried out different churches and at every corner I meet a horny unfaithful deacon, a leading family who financially supported the church and received more prayers and accolades than others, the overweight, the ever-faithful, the gossipers, the returning backsliders, the silent parishioners, the uninterested, the unruly children of the parish saints, the old, the poor and the very poor.

If someone was over-weight, I didn’t want to laugh at then when they passed, I wanted to start a fitness class. I noticed children who wore the same clothes every week, but their parents wouldn’t accept hand out because they didn’t want to be at the mercy of the gossipers.  I saw flirtations outside of marriage and people with distant eyes, crying eyes and eyes of hatred. I grew tired of looking at people and seeing sorrow.

So I left, I prayed at home, I lived a fair life and was contented and always blessed.

So why am I writing a blog on the Pope, well today I am married to a Catholic. When our daughter was born he indicated that he wanted her to be baptized in the Catholic faith, I had no problem with it. There is a time for everything under the sun and many paths lead to God, my path is best for me but she would have to choose her own path and with my blood in her veins, I know that she would ask questions and choose what makes her happy when she is an adult. My only cautionary note to my husband was seeing that I was not Catholic, I expected him to take responsibility for her Catholic walk and be an example to her.

In all of our years together my husband has never really asked me to do anything directly, not even to cook but he asked me, especially at this time when our daughter is mimicking her mother, to attend church with him. The deal is if he goes, I go.

So we began our dance, I felt very uncomfortable at first, like if someone had asked me to rob a bank, to do drugs, to strip naked and walk down Main Street. I had left bricks and mortar religion, without a second thought and was comfortable with my relationship with God. However, I comforted myself by reminding myself that I believed that this was the man I would spend my life with. I prayed and God said he was the one. While other women were dealing with drunken, violent husbands, my task was only to go to Church.

I returned home with a headache every single Sunday for six months. Excluding my primary education which was in a Catholic school, I hadn’t spent much time in a Catholic Church. It seemed to quiet, monotonous even. I had heard other preachers refer to the Catholic Church as lacking that spiritual fire; they were lead by men not by the spirit. All of the scripture readings were planned and in a book which ran on a three year cycle, it means that if you are 60 and was born a Catholic, you would have gone over that book 20 times. The Catholic people I knew were also strange for Christians my neighbor who was in church every week taking communion, was having an affair with a married man. Whenever there was a project on work that required ‘manipulation of figures’ it always went to the Catholic, she laughed and said ‘don’t worry, confession and some Hail Mary’s and that will be forgiven’.  I always felt that even if I had to go to church, some day, I wouldn’t be to a Catholic church. Was God testing me?

Nevertheless, my husband flourished. He became a more caring husband and is an excellent father. He joined the men’s group and grew happier, he took charge and got ready on time, he sat in the same pew and owned it, he greeted people and walked all over the church, shaking people hands when it was time to offer people a ‘sign of peace.’ I was in shock; this was defiantly not a passing phase, so I began to do what I did when I didn’t know what to do. I began to pray quietly asking God to help me understand my role and accept it. I figured out a long time ago that I shouldn’t give God a target when it came to matters of the heart and mind; I was just setting myself up for more agony if I fixated on a particular outcome. I had to just be open to what the universe had to offer.

I prayed in the shower, on my way to work, in meetings, in the grocery, all the time asking God to wash away my prejudices and conceptions so that I could enjoy my family now.  I hoped to one day move back into prayer and solitude, but my family life was happening in the present and I wasn’t enjoying it. I couldn’t ask God to change my husband; that is not my right, I could only ask God to change me. I had bad church experiences and preconceived notions, it took months for me to relax. Yes, I did relax and I began having a good church experience.  There are flashbacks from the past but I have meet good people, sincere people and I thank God for showing me that I shouldn’t accept a bad experience as final and just move it to one side of my mind and lock it away.

God wants us to choose the best out of our best experiences. He took my mind’s worst case scenario and turned it around. I am still not sold on religion, but I am allowing myself to be genuinely impressed by what is impressive about it.

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Many Catholics and Christians heard and saw that Pope Benedict XVI resigned from a position that usually required death to come to an end. The world predicted doom and gloom; others felt he made a good decision due to his age while others are still waiting to weight in.  I am sure that there may have been other Popes who were as ill and did not resign and I am confident that the church, which is an empire in itself, would not be shaken to doom anytime soon.

This is a unique time in the history of the Church, I am not even sure people realize how unique it is. The Pope said he prayed and he believed that this was the right step for the church. He broke tradition, he shocked multitudes but he is walking by faith. That is by far the most powerful thing a man of God could say, “He prayed, he understood what God wanted him to do and he moved by faith”. For this I applaud him.

Men, even men of the Pope’s stature do not follow the will of God because of fear of what people will say, of breaking traditions. In a powerfully traditional atmosphere like the Vatican, the Pope said “he is moving by faith.” This is by far the most simple, yet most powerful principle of the Christianity; it’s the overarching theme of the bible.

I smile as I write these words.

A spiritual battle was won; no longer can Catholics be accused of not moving by faith. A battle of this magnitude, almost makes me uneasy but Pope Benedict XVI has set profound precedent and I am happy to be living in such times and look forward to seeing how this story unfolds.

www.marshagomes.com

The Secret to Girls

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Growing up, I was one of the few persons whose father and mother lived in the same house. However my mother for the most part stayed at home and my father worked, therefore my mother was in charge of the ‘child rearing’ or ‘children stuff’ or ‘children matters’. My father was always resting, or needed quiet time or was watching television or had friends over that the children shouldn’t be near. He always seemed to be protected in a sense, from the mannerisms that were his children.

Did I mention that he had four girls and one boy!

… and so it began the quest of sorts to figure out who this man was and why I couldn’t bother him the way I bothered my mother. Growing up I watched him constantly, waiting for an opportune moment to tackle him, to capture his attention with an odd dance or a drawing (when my mothers’ watchful eyes were not looking). As I grew older I resented him, I was silently angry that he didn’t notice my brilliance. I then grew silent and unconcerned, our conversations were merely “pass the remote, please”; do you know where the remote is; occasionally he would ask, and “where is your mother and I would answer? There was no deliberate socialization however even in my pretend silence I yearned to figure out who my father was, he seems a continent far away and it haunted me.

As I became a parent of my own, I began to understand what providing for us girls may have been like and I began to read books and theories and allowed different perspectives into my psyche. I began to see the merit in our relationship. The stability he brought to the family and I consciously decided to expand our conversation whenever we met.

I was pleasantly surprised to know that my father knew of my brilliance, he kept track of everything in my life. He was proud, but his generation didn’t speak it, you have to pry it out of them.

The book “You have what it takes” by John Eldredge says it well. Every little girl is asking one basic question just like your boys, but it is a different question. You observe it in everything she does. She is asking Am I lovely? Do you see it, can you confirm it? As she grows you notice it in the games she plays, the movies she watches, and the songs she likes. At the end of every princess movie, the prince realizes that the princess is lovely, he sings and shouts out loud that he delights in her, that she is the one and everyone else is in awe. Walt Disney’s storyline for its princess movies are specifically engineered to capture the imagination of little girls, it is not a coincidence, it is a science.

All through the years your daughter is spinning, dancing, dressing up and, trying to look beautiful; crying when she feels she isn’t and she is trying to capture your attention. She wants to know, Am I lovely? Am I worth fighting for? She looks to the most important man in her life to answer it, her father. And the answer should always be YES!

A woman’s confidence is what gets her through life not her beauty or her talents. There is always someone who may be better than her, more talented, with more potential. However that never decides the race. Every princess has an inner dragon, a fire that burns to the depth of her being that says I will, I can and I will see you at the finish line.

Isn’t it wonderful that as a father you have been chosen to lay the foundation for the flame?

The truth is if you don’t answer the question, she will keep asking it until she gets an answer. Some of us are lucky to find God who answers our inner question and some of us are still asking the question, always getting the wrong answer.

Have you ever met a beautiful woman who had potential just pouring out of her but she was in an abusive relationship – no confidence, so far down the wrong road that you don’t know how to intervene. Psychologists say 9 out of 10 times they can track it back to her relationship with her father. If you don’t answer her questions another man will.

A mother shares everything with her daughter, she teaches her to be a woman yet there is room for more. My daughter looks to me to pick out her dresses and comb her hair and she is always interested in what I am doing. Every time my daughter dresses up, I sing Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t she lovely” and she blushes and dances and then without failing she turns around and goes to find her father to see if he is also blown away. She knows that if she was wrapped up in newspaper, I would still be singing. I often peak at her as she goes, as if walking down a runway, her eyes are focused on him and I can always tell her fathers reaction when she returns. You can see it plainly on her face she is either completely happy or furlong. Either way she seeks the validation.

In life a man’s greatest fear is failure, he wants to always be up to the challenge, to be worthy but a woman fear is abandonment. We want to be ever in your thoughts, and cemented in your hearts and that fear can cause a woman to compromise her beliefs.

As a father you have to let your daughters know that you will never abandon them, that come what may you will always be with them to pick up the pieces, because you believe in them, you see that they are lovely and brilliant. They will look for spouses who make them feel better than their father and if you set the bar at zero, then any man will do.

I pull one line from the book as I close, “identity, especially gender identity is bestowed by the father. A boy learns if he is a man, if he has what it takes and a girl learns if she is worth pursuing, if she is lovely.

Enjoy your relationship with your daughters, give them confidence and they will do the rest.

Article based on the book “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul

Growing Up Boys

A few years ago I bought two books, they were more or less pocket books but I never regretted the purchase. The first was “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul’ and the second which would be focus of this week and next week is “You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know”.

This simple book which takes less than a day to read was given to my husband before we even had children (hint maybe).

This week and next week we will look at Fatherhood, “GROWING UP BOYS” and ‘the SECRET TO GIRLS’.

Article based on the book “You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know”.

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We use to sing a song in school: What are little boys made of? Frogs and snails, and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of. What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.

It’s because boys and girls were always different and it’s not just socialization. I have one brother who is the youngest in our family and for as long as I can remember; he would disappear on our conversations and roll his eyes at our choices of movies. He has mastered the art of the blank stare and his prized possession is his room because it means he has an escape.

Some people may disagree but if you leave children to play unfettered by your suggestions, you will notice that boys gravitate to games that either maime the toys or dismount the toys. My husband came home one day and after glancing at our daughters toys, he asked “Abijah was here?” (my nephew), I replied “yes how did you know?” He open is hands to reveal a toy car which after a year with our daughter was still in prime condition, which was now missing a wheel, bumper broken and had remnants of biscuits and juice.

That was just exhibit A, there were more. Which my daughter gladly brought, one by one for her father to fix, she was thrilled that he would endeavour to fix them on her behalf.  So now, I have a list of toys to hide on play dates (especially the model cars, the fact that Barbie had less hair was a non-issue).

The book says that every little boy asks the same question, the one that his father alone can answer. Why, because psychologically he wants a man to answer it, it doesn’t matter how wonderful your mother is, she can’t give you firsthand experience about being a man. It doesn’t mean that a mother can’t answer life changing questions. A mother teaches unconditional love, and mercy. A mother is a child’s harbor, the safe place that they will always find no matter how old they get, so a mother’s role is essentially to love you so much that you would understand fully who God is. That is why I always say a mothers’ love is divine.

A father however provides a child with identity, “to know thy-self” (both girls and boys). In 2000 CNN ran a story entitled: “Father figures help tame rampaging young elephants”, it was later made into a documentary. The heart of the story was that in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa there was a particular herd of elephants with 17 orphaned males. These males hit musth or puberty as we would say – a state of heightened aggression and sexual excitement fueled by surges of testosterone that all elephants experience and killed more than 40 white rhinoceros, and was really wreaking havoc on the park.

The rangers decided to introduce older males into the herd and it worked, the killings stopped and the musth was shortened. South African animal experts noted that father figures had a calming effect on aggressive young males, and more particularly if they are bull elephants. They needed role models to form their identity.  (Biggest Big Brother programme)

Nature teaches us so much.

The voice of a father answers the question that every boy will ask in a thousand different ways over his lifetime. Do I have what it takes? Every father will get the opportunity to answer this in a thousand different ways and must always be ready to say. Yes, you have what it takes to be a man; there is no one more powerful than you; there is no one smarter than you; you were created in God’s image; you’re awesome; you can do it; you’re a machine go for it.

The author gives an example of a rock climbing event he went to with his sons, the noted that one of his sons was climbing and getting a little difficulty, so he pumped up his cheering to boost his confidence. He said, “Way to go Sam! You’re looking good. You’re a wild man!” His son finished the climb and he clip in his other son and started cheering again. The moment was out of his mind but he said his son Sam sidled up to him and asked in a quiet voice, “Dad … did you really think I was a wild man up there?”

What would have been your reaction? Miss the moment and you’ll miss his heart forever. Until a man knows he is a man, he will forever be trying to prove he is one, while hiding from anything that might reveal he is not. Most men live haunted by the question or debilitated by the answer they have been given. Boys grow into men and the sad truth is that no one may have answered your question as a child and today you have to answer it for your children.

The family was meant to answer our core questions, to give us that foundation. However, we have generation to generation, finding temporary identities in television characters, in music, in gangs, in money, in drugs and in sex.

I truly believe in the importance of fathers, as a woman I want to be the best mother I can be but I don’t want to be the voice of the father and the mother.

So fathers, please know that your voice is the most powerful voice in the world … because you have the ability to shape your children’s character. They look up to you; you amaze them; you represent power and approval. It doesn’t matter how old your children are they still want to hear it. They want to know what you think of them, their talents, their progress, their failures; they wonder at your silence and long for your validation.

Your belief in them, gives them strength to shine brighter because they feed off of your reality.

No one will have the impact on your sons that you have.

No one!

You are the man of the house, you have what it takes.