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A call to fathers

To all of the men out there that have created life with a woman, have you ever thought about what it means to be called father, dad, daddy, papa, pops, or any other name that a child will call you? The verb father means to make children, it could also mean someone who has helped to invent or create something or someone.

Being a father myself, I would agree with so many fathers and say that there is no greater feeling than that of being a dad. Knowing that a baby will be born and have some characteristics, resemblances, attitude, mannerisms and possibly even some talents that you may have, should make anyone light up with joy and pride.

I did mention the word “should” because although all of those things sound pleasant, there are many men that have brought babies into the world that think it is a chore or a burden on them to take care of a responsibility in which they helped to create. All relationships between the father and mother will not be pleasant, romantic or may not even last, but this is no reason to pass on your responsibilities.

The word deadbeat dad is commonly used to refer to a male that fails to pay child support, contact their child, be a part of the life of their child, or who doesn’t even claim their child. It is hard for me to fathom why a man would not want to be there to help guide and develop their child into being a productive citizen, as well as, experience the other benefits of raising their child. Some of the benefits of raising a child include the ability to develop a greater ability to nurture and care for others, prone to have less encounters with the criminal justice system, fewer hospital admissions, decreased risk of substance abuse, lower risk of depression and suicide, and the overall experience of a healthy family relationship.

So, for all the men that are out there taking care of their kids financially, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, I salute you and applaud you for taking care of your responsibility. I know that it is not easy at times when you and the child's mother are not getting along, but constantly fighting to be in the life of your child is important and will be recognized later in their life.

To the men that have donated your sperm and are not a part of your seed life, then I ask that you make a round turn and do what you need to do, to be in that child’s life, no matter what their current age might be. The National Center for Education Statistics found that children of responsible and involved fathers learned life skills faster and better than children without an involved father in their lives.

A call out to the mothers that are keeping their children away from their father’s due to them not providing support, please stop it. Issues between you and him should not hinder the relationship of the child and their father. Research has shown that children who grow up with absent-fathers are more likely to end up in poverty, drop out of school, become addicted to drugs, have a child out of wedlock or end up in prison.

Fathers, get involved by speaking positively to and about your child's mother, create a vision for your child, know your children and be known by your children to truly make a difference in their lives. #SPEAK2MYHEART

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