Connie K. Grier explores how to help all fathers appreciate themselves and the responsibility of fatherhood.
A song entitled “My Dad” by Paul Peterson contains the following lyrics:
“When I was small I felt 10 feet tall when I walked by his side /and everyone would say, ‘That’s his son’ / and my heart would burst with pride / my dad, I love him so / and I only hope someday my own son will say, ‘My dad, now here is a man”
I can imagine every little boy wanting to experience such a feeling. A feeling of unequivocal pride, happiness, and love. The WonderTwinz definitely enjoy such emotion. Sitting around and watching a cartoon with their dad tops any trip to the movies that I could ever take them on. Hilarious competition and bodily function contests between the trio just makes the experience better. And I encourage every second.
I am of the mind that fathers and mothers are equally important in the parenting arena. That does not mean that all parenting duties are equally distributed, but it does mean that as parents, we work as a team in the best interest of our sons, and we appreciate and support the individual relationships we have with them.
Unfortunately, many young men do not experience the joys of being their father’s son, for a myriad of reasons.
One father became determined to protect that experience for as many young men as he could. Recent BME Honoree Joel Austin founded Daddy UniverCity to help all fathers appreciate themselves and the responsibility of fatherhood, while providing a supportive network where dads get to discuss any and all parenting and co-parenting issues that arise, from quality time, discipline and everything in between. “Each of us has powerful roles,” says Austin. “[Fathers] are essential to some of the needs of our children and they bring balance to our families.” (CBSPhilly)
Joel makes sense. Fathers play a pivotal role in the lives of their children. In the case of young men, fathers are not only role models, they are blueprints that young men observe and decide whether they will be a carbon copy or the exact opposite of their dads. According to the National Fatherhood Initiative (www.fatherhood.org}, children who do not grow up with their fathers in their lives are impacted negatively in the areas of poverty, maternal and child health, incarceration, crime, teen pregnancy, child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, education, and childhood obesity. Young boys without a relationship with their dads often tend to become fathers earlier.
Our sons benefit on so many levels from a consistent relationship with their fathers. For example, there are certain subjects mothers will address out of safeguarding the safety of our sons, (let’s say health issues) but they should have the option to take our info and run it by their fathers who will not only comprehend the issue but be able to empathize with their progeny.
It’s a connection that, if available, must be nurtured.