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Sat, Sep 17, 2011
New Straits Times
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Hello Daddy, my brother beats me...
by Kongster

"TELL your brother to behave or I will go home and wallop him!"

Quite often, I hear such "empty threats" mouthed into the phone by my male colleagues to their children.

That usually happens when a kid calls up daddy to complain that his brother or sister is giving him a hard time.

For the older generation, you just don't phone your old man when he's at work. Not when mama is around.

Anyway, in those days, most homes didn't have phones.

Parenting is no longer like before. Children are more likely to see an ally in their fathers than their mothers.

And the phrase "mama's boy" might need to be rephrased as "papa's boy" in future.

Such is the trend.

Children rather run to their fathers than mothers when they have something to complain about. It used to be the other way round in the old days.

Many modern-day fathers are playing a major role in child-rearing, unlike the men of decades ago.

This shift in parenting is a result of more and more mothers going to work, shedding their roles as the traditional homemaker.

I reckon that is fair to women since the male's part in bringing a child into this world is about five minutes (according to some sex survey), while for the female, it is nine months.

Children prefer to confide in their fathers because men generally are more willing to lend a sympathetic ear.

Of course, women will claim that men are pathetic in bringing up children because they only know how to pamper them, but have to wrestle with babies when putting pampers on them.

Though men may be good listeners to their children, they are bad advisors, so the women would like to claim.

My missus accuses me of playing the good cop, and she the bad cop, at home. That's because I spoil the children while she plays the role of the disciplinarian.

Here, I must point out that mothers do not lack sympathy. For all their maternal instinct, they tend to be no-nonsense in contrast to fathers who are vulnerable to the emotional blackmail of children.

That's why kids won't call their mothers in the office.

But fathers, despite having to deal with work pressure, office politics or boardroom battles, also have to play peacemaker when warring kids phone up from home.

I have colleagues who prefer not to have a fixed-line at home as they do not want their kids phoning them up and wailing away.

And there are fathers who refuse to give their office numbers to children.

"I cancelled my fixed-line because my boys were fighting over toys and phoning me," said a friend.

Lucky for me, I don't have to face this problem. I have only two girls and they don't fight and call me up.

While a man should show equal love when dealing with his children, he has to show that he loves his woman more.

That is always what the mother wants to see.

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