July 3, 2014
The joy of fatherhood can quickly be interrupted by unexpected twists and turns in daily life. We do our best to prepare our children for these occasions – let’s call them “bumps in the road” – that we know they will inevitably face. Over the past 30 years or so, the ever increasing presence of law enforcement in the lives of our children has created new challenges for them as well as for us as parents.
May 5, 2014
The following information and suggestions are based on my experience as a parent and preschool teacher. From my observations, the formal creation of a specific nap time usually occurs between the ages of 2 and 5 years old. Naps are great for children and adults as well, so why is it that our children see them as a punishment rather than a cheerful opportunity? Let’s start by looking at how naps develop and where the challenges begin.
April 12, 2014
Whether it’s raining or sunny, warm or cold, the sun comes up and goes down with or without our approval. No day should go wasted, especially when there are so many exciting ways to spend time with your child or children. As anyone with grown children will tell you, those “growing up years” fly by. As a way of encouraging this time together, I thought I’d provide a brief list of some activities and resources that you might want to check out.
February 18, 2014
“Dare to Be Extraordinary: A Collection of Positive Life Lessons from African American Fathers” is a journey of triumph. At its core, this inspiring book is about positive examples of bold, courageous parents set by loving, present African American fathers who raised their children to become extraordinarily successful adults. It recognizes and honors the wisdom and teachings of fathers passed down to both sons and daughters.
January 2, 2014
Whether we call it discipline or creating expectations for their behavior, children want and deserve clear directions as to “how to be” in this world. Without this supportive feedback and grounding, they can find themselves mired in frustration, often leading to inappropriate acting out and causing discomfort to themselves as well as those around them.
December 2, 2013
Our focus this month is to look at ways that we as men, in particular fathers, can actively encourage and support children who are not necessarily a part of our immediate families. Children in our society are far too often undervalued, minimized and rendered nearly invisible. What can you do? Refuse to be passive and actively seek to uplift the spirits of young people around you.
October 26, 2013
Every day is a blessing and every moment is an opportunity to learn, grow and be better than we were yesterday. This goes for fathers as well as their children, and the most important thing is to enjoy the journey. It doesn’t take much to find enjoyment in your children, only your patience and your time. Make your children the most important thing in your life, because they are.
September 12, 2013
Unresolved issues between adults can greatly affect the state of mind of the children in a “split parented” family. Children of all ages, including babies, are extremely perceptive and able to recognize feelings of love, comfort and safety as well as tension, frustration and anger. It is critical that both parents talk about these issues and think about how they will impact the children well before there is any visitation scheduled.
August 2, 2013
In speaking with fathers, it is painfully obvious that “split parenting” is one of the most difficult and gut wrenching experiences anyone who loves his children can go through. It’s all too real, and we are left to find ways to make this potentially devastating situation not only tolerable but one in which adults can learn to communicate and children can somehow thrive.
May 25, 2013
From the first breath, father and mother alike have the same level of responsibility and opportunity in welcoming their newborn into the world. Mothers will always be closer, as they carry and nurture the child for nine months and continue to be the first source of food, in most cases, after they arrive. But wait, fathers, don’t get jealous. Everything else is a shared and mutual opportunity, including changing those “stinky” diapers.
May 9, 2013
Cynthia McKinney’s fundraiser tour for the SF Bay View was a huge success up and down California, hitting San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland and Santa Rosa. The tour, which was titled “Latin America, Africa, and Obama,” coincided with the release of McKinney’s second book, “Ain’t Nothing Like Freedom,” an autobiography about her years as a six-term Congress member from Georgia.
March 9, 2013
All children are beautiful angels brought into this world by God and whether we are blood relations or not, it is our responsibility as adults to nurture and encourage every child we possibly can. Remember, there are no bad children, only children in bad circumstances. Let’s see what we as men can do to improve those circumstances.
May 10, 2011
The wonderful people of Sonoma gave Big Man a surprise dinner to honor his 50th year of community service. Big Man’s and my connection is based in the Black Panther Party. Even in the BPP, we used to run together.