Andre Dandridge, Founder of NewYoungFathers.com, gives advice to young men with new families.
I was raised in Detroit proper. While growing up, several of my friends didn’t know their fathers. Actually, the majority of my classmates in school had no idea what their father’s role was supposed to be in their lives. This severely confused me as a child because my father was, and still is, my hero.
The harsh reality of knowing that all boys weren’t as privileged as I was to have a loving, nurturing, and always present father in the home, is what motivated me in adulthood to establish NewYoungFathers.com, and a standard for fatherhood known as the “Young Father’s Code”.
Today many young men become fathers not by planning, but by mistake. Often the mistake is follow by denial, which leads to no preparation for parenting.
The two types of young men who become fathers are: those fueled by a strong desire to succeed, and those who are misguided; caught up in the matrix; conforms to the “you only live once” philosophy; lives to break the law by contributing to the destruction of the family, sells drugs by day; over-indulges in a night-life that degrades women; and is fueled by self destructive behavior.
If both young men have no standard for fatherhood, they’ll be lost and caught off-guard once the baby arrives. To succeed, they need a well defined standard which feeds an innate urge to protect and provide. For that reason alone, I’ve created “The Young Father’s Code: 10 Things Young Fathers Should Say to Themselves.”
- I am proud to be a father: You’ll never know who your children will become. Raise them right and instill wholesome values, be an example of hard work, and you can change history.
- I will take full responsibility in my role as a father and teach my children about life: Be present and aim to teach your children consequences; build their moral capacity.
- I am ever evolving to be a better mental, physical, and emotional supporter of my children: Focus on self-improvement so that you’ll be a better leader, advisor, provider and protector.
- I will do all that I can to provide what necessary for my children: Do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
- I will tell my children I love them from my mouth and show them love them from my actions: You have to communicate love to your children; this means telling them “I love you” often and showing them by random acts of kindness, fun, and family.
- I will raise my children to respect their mother even if I am no longer involved in a relationship with her. This woman went through physical and emotional changes to bring your children into the world, and as a result you must ALWAYS respect her, and teach your children to do the same.
- I will use all of my mental and physical energy to provide a good life for my children: When striving to bring your dreams – and those of your children – to life, be creative and think outside of the box. Remember the man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right.
- I will expose my children to new and exciting things: The world we live in is an amazing place. Put your children on a path to acquire knowledge beyond what is readily available to them.
- I will never abandon my children: No matter how tough life gets let your children know you’re there for them, and do what you must to keep that promise.
- I will never sexually or physically abuse any child. No child deserves to be abused. Even if it happened to you, be the change!
The Young Father’s Code and other resources can be found at www.NewYoungFathers.com
B.O.L.D member Andre Dandridge is a 2012 BMe Leader and Founder of NewYoungFathers.com. Read more about Andre in The Black His-Story Book: A Collection of Narratives from Black Male Mentors, presented in part by GoodMenProject.com.
Source: TBO Inc®