Define a successful Father
By Dedrick D. Henry, Sr./ Neighborhood Unisex
We all have our own opinion when it comes to being successful or becoming successful, and we also know wealth, knowledge and possessions determine your true success in the eyes of some. In a world where money rules all, who or what determines a fathers’ true success when it comes to his offspring? I can remember reading an article a while back pertaining to four siblings all graduating from an HBCU in their chosen academic fields of higher education. Immediately, I thought to myself, “I bet their mother and father are sincerely proud of them.”
A true parents’ success comes when the parents know that they have raised a responsible child who no longer has to depend on them for finance and security. Whether the child chooses to further their education by going to college or joining the working class, a parent just wants their child to succeed. Mother and father both provide love and support, but a mother’s love compared to a father’s love is expressed quite differently. A mother nurtures, pacifies, nourishes and is sometimes submissive, while always sharing their thoughts and concerns intimately.
On the other hand a father demonstrates, provides, protects and sustains a level of balance and structure; where as duties and responsibility is a priority in the child’s life. A mother is capable of instilling these same characteristics, but may not enforce these things as a father would. Just the mention of his name, you think twice,” Don’t make me tell your daddy.”
In a world where just as many people are getting divorced as they are getting married we as parents have to be reminded of who really suffers the most. The children suffer the most. Fathers need to know that you removed yourself from the relationship with the other parent, not the child. And in some instances parents use their children as a pawn which only hurts the child.
Allow these fathers to stay involved, if they choose not to, at least the child knows you tried. A child needs their father more than you may know, especially these lost Black boys. Both parents play a significant part in any child’s total success whether they become a positive role model or a negative role model of how not to be, their presence is still needed. Black fathers definitely need to start accepting more responsibility when it comes to raising our Black children.
Black fathers need to know that time is more important than money; we need to make memories with our children and allow them to see and experience new things with us. Caring is sharing and we must care for the children so we can share with the children. Children are constantly growing mentally, physically and socially which most of the time requires guidance and good decision making, making a father’s presence a necessity.
I understand it’s hard for a father to raise a child when you’re not in their daily lives’ and their mother’s values may not be your values, but as long you both want and are willing to do whatever it takes for the child’s success. That’s all that really matters in the end. Mothers need to let these fathers get and stay involved in their child’s life; whether he pays child support, has remarried, released from incarceration or moved away. You may not need that man, but your child does. They need his strength, they need his story, they need him, but most important they need his love.
Fathers, if it’s hard to communicate with the mother or the child, be willing to try a new approach to open the lines of communication. Without communication nothing will succeed. You will be amazed how a simple phone call could make their day. Always remember consistency means everything when building and rebuilding any relationship. Some decisions should be made together, you made time to make the child, now take time to RAISE the child. I can only speak for myself when I say that I don’t always have the money, but I always have plenty of knowledge and an abundance of love to share with all my children.