Tags The joy of fatherhood: Helpful tips for fathers and men who want to become fathers
Tag: The joy of fatherhood: Helpful tips for fathers and men who want to become fathers
For too many years, men have been making babies and often taking no responsibility for the resulting beautiful product, unless forced to do so by the court system. I acknowledge there are many reasons that a man may deny being the father of a child. He may be “creeping” around and “messing” with one or more women “on the side.” Or he may just be “playing the field.” It does happen that even good men – although immature – are sometimes overwhelmed at the thought of “all that responsibility.”
An ever growing number of folks are finding love with partners outside their race and raising children of blended cultures. There is also an increase in the number of families and individuals adopting children of color who have no actual knowledge or involvement with their cultures. Regardless of the culture or ethnic background of the adults, it is critical that certain realities be kept in mind. Children of color have distinct cultural histories and mores that should be acknowledged and consistently reinforced.
Summer has come and is nearly gone. Before we know it, school will be starting and what have you done with your children? Kids are always talking about how bored they are, so let’s mix it up a bit and get them exposed to some fun activities, mostly free and out of house, when possible. In picking an activity, don’t worry about how fancy or exciting it is, only that it is an opportunity to spend quality time together.
Kwasi Turner, who just happens to be my son, served as co-producer for the film, “Do They Fit?” which will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival in France this May. The film, written and produced by DeForest Mapp, was co-produced by Stefan Gonzalez and is a romantic dramady to be showcased in the Short Film Corner of the festival. The featured actors include Erric Thompson, Afi Ayanna, Christine Waller and Jasania Deshong.
This is the question that was posed to me recently at the 40th anniversary of the Bay View celebration held in San Francisco. On two separate occasions, women cited poor choices on the part of women as a serious contributor to the erosion of the family structure. Neither of them had any sympathy for women who select men they know from the outset do not measure up as potential fathers or, for that matter, even good friends.
Some say, “Out of sight, out of mind,” but I know better and so do you. It takes more than fancy cars, a suit and tie slave gig or a house in a gated community to squelch the reality that too many thousands of Black fathers are missing from our communities. Yes, my brothers “inside,” you may not hear from us, the “straight johns” on the “outside” as often as you should, but I wanted to let you know that you are thought of and deeply valued.
Three wise men, actually young men, all presented me with a gift I didn’t dare refuse. The gift from each one was the same: a simple “check-in” via telephone to let me know they appreciated me and that our relationships meant a lot to them. Appreciation is an easy gift to share with someone you care about and, best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything. I hope that each of you will have an opportunity to give or receive this wonderful gift at some point during the year.
Family and friends who traveled from as far away as the Sierra Foothills and the San Francisco Peninsula were brought together in celebrating what was to be an upcoming birth forged by the union of Nicole Penney and Derrell Lewis. On Sept. 15, their beautiful son Amir was born. These two longtime friends, equally yoked in their demonstrated love and support for one another, are evidence that the future of our village is in good hands.
No matter where we stopped in the educational process and no matter what the reason, we all have more within us to share and to learn. We can be and do more, but what does it take to awaken the “authentic” fire that once burned when we were young or even in our adulthood? No matter the reason – and for each of us it will be different – it’s never too late to change “what if” to “maybe” to “I’ll give it a try.”
The most important thing you can give any child is your time. This month I will share some activities and outings you can enjoy while sharing time with your children, grandchildren or the children of friends you are fortunate enough to have in your life. Here are a few suggestions of positive ways to spend some moments that will create memories to last long beyond when you and I are gone.
With all the miles traveled, lessons learned (hopefully) and general knowledge under our belts, we become incredible sources of joy and wonder for the children in our lives. Here are some of the roles we can play in supporting and enriching the lives of the children around us. Remember that we each bring unique talents and abilities to this life and so do our children.
Now that I am a grandfather, I’m realizing the joy and opportunity it gives me to just love and be loved. My grands live in Southern California, so I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, but when I do, I make the most of it. We as grandparents can be an incredible source of comfort and support for our grandchildren that they cannot find anywhere else in their lives.
You may have noticed that my monthly article offering helpful suggestions to fathers and would-be fathers has been on somewhat of a vacation – a vacation that’s taken me on a journey deep inside myself to look at the pervasive attacks and legalized annihilation being levied on our children and our families. An environment supporting “business as usual” murders as commonplace doesn’t lend itself to joyful inspiration.
I’ve created a fatherhood survey to help men evaluate how they think they are doing as fathers as well as some thoughts and ideas that may help improve areas of weakness. Remember, dads, we are only human – not robots. We are imperfect and will make mistakes every day. The important thing is that we love our children, learn from the mistakes and continue to practice on the skills that will make us the best fathers possible.
This month, I’m challenging all fathers of school age children to visit their classrooms at least one time during the school year. There is nothing that makes a child feel more appreciated and proud than having a parent come to school for positive reasons. Moms usually fill this role; let’s change that up this year. You don’t need any special skills, and most teachers will welcome you with open arms.