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'Love and sex lessons I learnt from my father'

Saturday December 14 2019

PARENTING

Fathers have a huge influence on their sons. They influence how they grow up. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SIMON MBURU
By SIMON MBURU
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Fathers follow a different parenting template from mothers when it comes to raising and impacting their kids with life lessons.

Fathers have a huge influence on their sons. They influence how they grow up and what kind of men they become.

Fathers approach life issues, discipline, and counsel differently. Some of these influences are witnessed in the way men handle life, love, relationships, and sex.

Dr Chris Hart, a psychologist and the author of Single & Searching, says that boys learn how to win, compete, make decisions, be independent, and relate with women from their fathers or father figures.

"There will be similarities in the way a father behaved when his son was young, and the way his son behaves as an adult. A good father will show his son how male and female behaviour differs and how these two genders can have close, protective, and loving relationships," he says.

MODELING

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This means that how a father behaves and acts has a direct impact on the future behaviour of his son.

For example, a boy who grows up seeing his father hit his mother could likely end up as an abuser. This is what Nelson Muchemi took up from his father.

"My father would occasionally slap my mother to get his way in a bitter argument. Sometimes he would slap her in our presence," says the 38-year-old civil engineer.

"Watching this made me think that that was the way a man is supposed to assert his authority."

Nelson confides that he lost two of his relationships due to this violent behaviour. "My first two engagements ended because I was violent. I would slap my fiancée, just as my old man used to do, to get my way," he says.

COUNSELLING

He only changed after his second fiancée cancelled their engagement. "She said that she could not marry an abuser. Her father had never hit her mom."

Nelson began to realise that something was wrong with his approach. He sought counselling. "I have now been dating for two years and I do not hit her," he says.

Just like the relaying of abuse, men also take up lessons on sexual intimacy, chivalry, and fidelity from their fathers.

"A man's entire romantic concept is derived mainly from the actions of his father. If he grows up seeing his father with multiple lovers, he'll probably follow the same route when his time to date comes. If he grows up with a chivalrous father, his chances of being a gentleman are high," says Nairobi-based psychologist Patrick Musau.

For example, world-renowned golfer Tiger Woods attributes his cheating ways to the influence that his late father Earl Woods had on him.

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