Tanielu Taua’ifaga from Leusoali’i believes that the best gift a father can give his children is to be a good role model for them.
To do that, the father of two believes he should lead by example so that when his children see it, they too will follow his footsteps.
Tanielu was selling coconuts on the side of the road yesterday.
“This is what I do everyday,” he said.
“I love doing it because this contributes to the future of my children.
“I sell one basket for ten tala and for three days a week and I get almost $50 per day.”
He wasn’t always selling coconuts for a living.
“I worked before at one of the companies in town but things have changed when I realised it’s better for me to work as a farmer,” he said.
“The money I earned from that job was way too low and I couldn’t afford the upkeep of my family.
But selling coconuts is not his only source of income.
“I also have a plantation,” he said. “I have bananas to sell in front here everyday, I mean it’s good money.
“What I earn helps my children especially my older daughter who is now in school. This is the whole point of all the hard work – it is to make sure that my family is fed and my children are in school.
“For my children deserve a better future.”
Tanielu likes working from home.
“You’re your own boss; you can rest whatever time you want, you can work when you feel like it,” he said.
“Most importantly you spend most of your time with your children. It’s different when we want to work for someone else.
“Yes, many parents are hardly seen at home because of work.”
Getting back to his role model role, he believes everybody needs one.
“As a father, our job is to lead by example in modeling the kind of behaviour that you want your children to adopt.
“For most children, the most important role models are their parents, who have a regular presence in their lives.
“If we give them the lesson of sleeping all day long, sitting around, relying on others for a living – then they’ll grow up using that lifestyle.”
He added that every parent should work on their relationship with their children.
“That is based on trust so they know they can count on you when they need you, and so that they learn to be trustworthy in return.
“I mean, your children will see your examples – positive or negative – as a pattern for the way life is to be lived.”