The Mitchells talk paternity leave - Wayne and Tami say new policy promotes greater father-child bonding
Celebrity parents Wayne Marshall and Tami Chynn are urging fathers to consider paternity leave as a crucial time to bond with their newborns.
The proposed introduction of paternity leave for fathers in the public service is slated to come into effect on New Year's Day next year. Some private-sector companies have already introduced paid paternity leave for fathers welcoming a new child.
Speaking to THE STAR at the television premiere and viewing party for their Meet The Mitchells series last Thursday, Wayne Marshall, whose given name is Wayne Mitchell, said that it is about time paternity leave became a consideration for Jamaican fathers, but also shared concerns about how men would use that time.
"I understand the argument that there are men who will take advantage of this paternity leave and not do the job, but there are those who will invest a lot with that time into their children," he said.
Wayne Marshall continued, "I do think it can be effectively implemented into our society, and that it is something we can look into more as a solution to fix the deadbeat-dad narrative - anything to fix that narrative, we have to try."
A father of five, Wayne Marshall has been very involved in raising his children and stresses the importance of the involvement of both parents, especially in the early stages of their development. He said that his parents, having led by example, created the biggest impact on the way he approached parenthood.
"As a child growing up, I was lucky to have both parents - great parents - who taught me to be humble at all cost or no matter the noise being made. Children need both parents (or parental figures) to complete the puzzle and this is another reason I am 100 per cent behind paternal leave," said the Look At The World artiste and co-creator of the Meet The Mitchells series.
Tami Chynn, who has been married to Wayne Marshall for 13 years, said her family has benefited from the involvement of her husband during pregnancy and following the birth of her children.
"It is great that paternity leave will become a norm in our society, because I think it is important that moms get the support during that time, after giving birth, but also for the dads to get a chance to step up and stand in that role, or for new fathers to see they can step up. It can help to encourage more of them to show up in that delicate period," she said.