August 2007
All about Eba

The man-child as family head

MORE women have risen to managerial and supervisory positions because of higher education, attention to details and less absenteeism. [photo by Jaileen F. Jimeno]

MORE BAD news: the workplace is not the only area where the babied male is not doing so well. Marriage and parenting consultant Dr. Maribel Sison-Dionisio says the preferential treatment boys receive at home while they are growing up is one major cause of marriage breakdowns. She says that since many boys were not raised with a balance between play and discipline, the lack of discipline is brought into their relationships as adults. “In marriages, many men are found to be irresponsible,” she says, adding that the tendency to go easy on boys is now “backfiring.”

Project Y2001, for one, notes that there is much to be desired in the older generation of men whose sons and daughters were respondents in the study. It found that “among the poorer classes, some youths complain that their fathers treat them harshly, beat up their mothers, come home drunk, play around with other women. One wonders how such fathers were brought up,” the study said.

It also found that compared to the mothers, the respondents’ fathers spend less time with the children. Fathers even ranked a poor fourth in helping with homework, with just eight percent of the respondents saying they receive that kind of academic help from the man of the house. It is the older brother or sister (35 percent), mother (30 percent), and friends and classmates (11 percent) who readily give a hand in that arena.

As a result, only 16 percent of the respondents felt close to their father, in contrast to the 58 percent who said they felt closer to their mother. Explained one male respondent: “Kasi ang nanay, bale siya ang unang nakakaramdam. Ang tatay, maski ka na may problema, hindi siya lalapit sa iyo. (The mother is the first to sense that something is wrong. The father, even if you have a problem, won’t even approach you.)”

The study also noted, “The discussions became a venue for father-bashing. Some of the youth disclosed their father’s womanizing, vices, irresponsibility to fully provide for the needs of the family, and frequent absence from home.”