Friday, May 24, 2024

Proud Father – The Most Important Job a Man Will Have.

June 18, 2016 by  
Filed under News, Relationships, Weekly Columns

( As Fathers Day approaches, I would like to share some of the challenges, struggles, and the joys of being a father. From our child’s first step, to their first date a father’s relationship with his children is a very special one. The importance of a father’s role in shaping his children’s self-esteem is often underestimated.

Our children don’t come with an instruction manual; fathers have to figure a lot of things out for themselves when it came to raising his children. My first child was born when I was 22 years old, my second when I was 25. I was a very young man, with limited income, I lacked maturity, I was very selfish, and I had a lot of bad habits.

I remember sitting there one day watching my children playing, and I was so overwhelmed with being that young, and having the 00-blackfatherandsonWALKINGresponsibility for raising two children at that age that I almost ran away and left my family behind. I struggled with being responsible for raising my children, but I struggled more with being a role model for them, especially when I didn’t have my own life together.

Raising children can be very tough, especially when you have them early in life, and have limited resources. Preaching about not having kids until you’re financially stable, or married doesn’t help those who are already in this situation. I wasn’t married when my first child was born, and I surely didn’t have any money. The President of the United States came from a single parent home with limited resources, which proves any child can achieve success as long as they have parents who love and support them. I decided to stay and be there for my children; running away was not the answer.

As fathers we need to be there for our children regardless of what we are or what we have. My father was an alcoholic, and he was a man, who struggled with every aspect of his life, but he never abandoned me, and he was always there for me until the day he died. Our children don’t need us to be perfect, they just need us to be there!

Fathers need to be the best role models we can, and build our children up, not tear them down. As fathers we can tear our children down with our words, but we do it more by our deeds. Words are very important and words hurt. The positive words our children hear stays with them forever, the negative words they hear can damage them forever.

The relationship a father has with his children’s mother is very important.  People are not always compatible, and sometimes our feelings towards our spouses, or our children’s father or mother changes. Every day parents are faced with the difficult decision of rather to remain in a relationship, or go their separate ways.

If you and your child’s mother are separated, it is very important to work as hard as you can to maintain a positive and civil relationship with her mother. It is also important that we resist the urge to say negative things about our children’s mother in front of them. Divorces, and breakups can be very tough, but we must think of the impact our behavior has on our children. They are innocent victims of our failed relationships, and they usually wind up suffering the most, many times blaming themselves. It is our job to make our children know they are not responsible for our failed relationships.

If the family is a house, the father is the foundation. There are too many fathers missing. There is a difference between a father, and a man who has a child.  Being a father never ends, it is a lifetime job. As a father of two, I have made a lot of mistakes and I have been far from perfect, but I did the very best I could.  I feel blessed and get a lot of pride out of the fact that my children like coming home to visit, and call me often to chat. Now that they are grown and have their own lives, they don’t have to do that, but they choose to. I’m sure they know I didn’t do everything right as a father, but I did the best I could, and was there for them.

Being a father is the most important job a man will have. Being a good role model and being there for our children can be the difference between them having a life of positivity and prosperity or a life of struggle. Children who believe their fathers believe in them have higher self-esteem, and more self-confidence.

As father’s day approaches remember to love your children unconditionally, over-communicate with them, but above every thing else, be there for them. Tell them they can be, and encourage them to be whatever they want to be.  No goal is out of reach, no dream is too big if we give our children the encouragement and support they need.  A father doesn’t need to be perfect; he does needs to be there. Happy Fathers Day.

Columnist; Matthew R. Drayton

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