Sunday Spotlight: Stay-At-Home Dads

I just shook my head…I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…and on a “parenthood” site no less.  All stay-at-home parents have a great burden to carry.  Continue reading

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Sunday Spotlight: Daddy Doin’ Work

For this week’s Sunday Spotlight I wanted to feature one of my favorite fatherhood figures: Doyin Richards aka “Daddy Doin’ Work”. He was one of the first guys I started following when I became a Dad and was looking for more information on how to be a good dad. Doyin is honest, funny, hard-hitting on tough topics and is clearly a phenomenal dad and advocate for dads everywhere. He’s published three books each of which I wanted to feature here in the Sunday Spotlight. Continue reading

READY! for Kindergarten

I had the privilege at the end of last month to facilitate a “READY! for Kindergarten” Series through my local school district.  It was my first time facilitating this curriculum after observing a couple of classes during the spring and I really enjoyed the opportunity.  “READY!” is set up to offer tools and activities to parents of preschoolers that will help them prepare their child to succeed from day one in Kindergarten.  There are programs set up for each age group leading up to Kindergarten so that parents can potentially participate in a series of classes at each age and stage of their preschooler.  I observed the 4-5 year old program and got to lead the 3-4 year old program. Continue reading

Race

I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately, especially with everything in the news, and have wanted to write about it for quite a while.  Then, my favorite fatherhood blogger/author/figure wrote about it and I knew I had to share his thoughts.

I’ve seen a lot of opinions and negativity surrounding this topic out there and so I wanted to use my fatherhood space to share what I have learned and come to understand, and what I hope to pass on to my son.  I’m going to let Doyin’ and his article do most of the talking because I cannot speak on behalf of any person of color, but I want to use my voice to support his concern and frustration.

As a white man, I grew up not ever fearing a police officer and learning to respect my country’s flag and salute it.  I’ve never had to doubt that the freedoms professed in the symbol of this flag applied to me.  I have been very fortunate and very lucky and know that while I have worked hard to get where I am, I’ve also benefited from the fact that my skin color looks like most of the people around me, specifically those with influence and authority.

However, with a father as a history teacher, lots of history and sociology class studies in college, and some terrific equity discussions through my job I have learned and studied our country’s history.  I know a lot about the good and the bad.  And I know that while the words of the constitution are meant to speak for all men and women, I know in practice that has often not been the case, and that people of color and women have had to fight tooth and nail for every right and freedom that they are supposed to have already had.

As a few of my recent posts have suggested…I think a lot of this comes down to empathy.  There are many people who have a hard time putting themselves in the shoes of someone that looks different than them.  And when you can’t or won’t see someone’s perspective, it’s very difficult to agree with and even hear their opinion.

One of my biggest goals with my son is to teach him how to empathize with others…to understand ALL of our country’s history, and how this country that professes freedom to all was built almost entirely on the backs of those who were not allowed to enjoy those freedoms.  I hope that he understands this and that he is NOT “color blind”.  I want him to understand that people have different backgrounds and skin colors and that those people often have very different experiences and may not have had the same opportunities he has.  I want to encourage him to seek out these people and find out about their experiences and try to gain an understanding of who they are and what they’ve gone through.  And that then, hopefully, when he understands their perspective, he can be someone who helps bring people together…and not someone who drives them apart.

Without further ado I’m going to let my man Doyin’ take it away.  I’m not asking you to agree with everything he says, but I hope you can take a moment to read and truly try to understand what he’s saying: 5 Attempts to Keep Black America in Check.

This is fatherhood…

 

Raising Girls

Only a slight cop out this week as I’m including a link rather than writing myself, but with my news from last week I was reminded of the article below. I’ve mentioned before how I’m inspired by Daddy Doin’ Work, and this particular article is one of my favorites and definitely takes on new significance now that I will get the chance to raise a daughter as well. Without further ado I’ll let Doyin take it from here:

http://daddydoinwork.com/raising-little-girls/
This is fatherhood…

Inspiration

I felt compelled to share my inspiration, my reason for sharing this fatherhood journey and why I take it so seriously.  It’s important to know where you’ve come from and acknowledge all those who have helped make you  who are you…this is my inspiration…

I’m inspired by my parents who raised me in a loving and nurturing home.  My Dad inspires me as he gave up a job he loved to be closer to his children and to be able to coach us and not miss our games.  My Mom inspires me as she became so passionate about the things we were passionate about, making sure to be there every game and encouraging and investing in us as we chased our dreams.  My parents inspire me because they were awesome parents and I want my children to think of me how I think of them.

I’m inspired by my Grandpa.  His generosity, his storytelling, his spirit.  They continue to live on in my memory and continue to inspire me to this day.

I’m inspired by my siblings, my sister for her loving, caring heart and my brother because he has always inspired me to be better.  Born when I was eight, I credit him for helping to inspire my love of being around young children and my ability to entertain and relate with little kids. My brother also inspired me by the way he looked up to me…imitated me…wanted to be around me.  It was my job to be a good role model and he inspired me to take careful steps and to never give him someone to be disappointed in.  One of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life was go off to college and know that I was going to miss a lot of him growing up.  I’m inspired by what an awesome man he has become and what amazing things he is going to do.

I’m inspired by the parents whom I gained by  marriage.  How they have loved and accepted me as their own from day one has really inspired and strengthened me.  They affirmed me and encouraged me and supported me.  They are my family.  So too each pair of grandparents I gained by marriage.  Their love and support of each other and of me continues to inspire me.  I’m also quite inspired by the amazing new dadness  and momness being shown by my brother and sister-in-law, and how smitten they are with their adorable little girl.

I’m inspired by Roland C. Warren and his book Bad Dads of the Bible.  When I was learning about being a dad this is one of the first books I came across and it is still easily my favorite fatherhood book.  This is the book that began this journey of talking about fathering and wanting to share fathering with other dads.  This book first gave me the inspiration to look at fatherhood as more than just my role with my son but also as a passion.

I’m inspired by the dads who join me once a month on Saturdays and have helped me not feel alone in this journey.  From a small group of three friends getting together to now double that, I am so grateful to each and every dad that has been a part of this with me.  It is my favorite thing that I do, and I just hope and pray that you receive half as much inspiration from it as I do from each of you.

I’m inspired by Daddy Doin’ Work…he is a cool dad  doing great things for fatherhood and I really enjoy reading his posts and stories.

I’m inspired by any dad I see working hard, showing love, being there for the kids…I just love it and it always makes me smile.

I’m inspired by my wife.  She is an outstanding woman and an amazing mom.  She is the reason I get to be a dad.  She is my perfect parenting partner and I cannot imagine doing this job without her.  She is strong, she is resilient, she is loving, she is intelligent and she has a servant’s heart.  Our son is so blessed to be able to spend almost every moment of his life so far with her…I know it is shaping him in a tremendously positive way.

I’m inspired by my incredible son.  I take so seriously my job of being his dad.  It will have a profound impact on his life and who he becomes.  That is both incredibly inspiring and truly terrifying…but I am up for the challenge.  Because I know that he is so worth it.  My passion my inspiration comes from many places…but it all starts with him.  It may sound strange, but I honestly believe that I was born to be a dad.  All of my life I’ve been training, I’ve been watching, I’ve been learning…it’s all for this…my purpose…to be a great dad.

I’m inspired by my child on the way.  I cannot wait to meet them and be inspired all over again.  I know that there are many challenges in store but I cannot wait to see how my heart grows and melts for a tiny human all over again.  I cannot wait to be your dad little one.

I’m inspired by my God and Savior Jesus.  I am so blessed and so thankful to have been given this opportunity and to have been so blessed with good health thus far.  My Heavenly Father is the greatest fatherhood example there is and while my goal is perfection like His…how I will truly be measured is how I handle when I fall short.  Thank you God for this wonderful gift and for being by my side the whole way.

This is fatherhood…

and sometimes it’s long…I’m sorry, I promise these won’t all be novels…I guess you could say I was…inspired 🙂