In our society if we listen to the news, it is normal to hear of terrible daddy stories. Just because some folks have terrible daddy stories doesn’t mean that all dads are bad, especially our black dads. Can we take a moment and celebrate the dads who are doing it right?
More than ever, I see dads with their children in the mall and at the playground. YouTube videos of dads doing their daughters hair are really popular right now. There is even a national commercial. That’s all good, but guess what? Dads have been doing hair for many, many years – long before YouTube existed. I’m glad it is getting positive press, but it is nothing new.
As a community we have to pull together and stand up for the dads who are making a positive impact in their children’s lives.
Dads have been doing a father’s work since time began. Young dad or older dad, age does not define how well a man does as a father. The choices he makes in fatherhood will do that for him.
My husband and my son both became fathers at the age of 21 and they are the best fathers in the world. I have watched my husband with our three children and my son with his daughter; and, I am a witness that great African-American dads do exist. They are not a scarce commodity. You just don’t hear about them on the evening news.
The news seldom broadcasts an uplifting story about a good father. They air the same negative stories over and over because controversy brings viewers.
As a community we have to pull together and stand up for the dads who are making a positive impact in their children’s lives. Here are two things we should never ask when talking to dads about their kids.
“Are you babysitting your children today?”
Men don’t babysit their children. Please NEVER ask a man if he is babysitting his child. You cannot babysit your own child. You care for your child because it is a parent’s responsibility.
“You change diapers?”
When you see a male friend changing diapers, don’t say to him, “You change diapers?” as if he is doing something strange. He is doing what a father should do.
On the flip side however, here are things you should do.
Appreciate the man.
When you see a male friend doing a great job with his kids, say so. If you would give a female a compliment in this situation, don’t hold back your accolades just because it’s a man doing the same job.
Some folks think men don’t need to hear compliments. This may be true for some, however “needing” to be complimented and “appreciating” being recognized for a job well done are two different things.
Appreciate his involvement regardless of his relationship with the mother of his child.
The fact that dad left mom (or mom left dad) does not mean that dad left his children. Don’t assume because mom and dad are not together dad is not supportive of his child.
Fantastic Black Fathers Do Exist. It is up to us to make this known. The media is not going to do it for us. It is up to us, the people of color, to make some positive noise. We cannot expect others to do it for us. Let’s not wait till Father’s Day to speak up. Let’s start making changes today.
BMWK Family, what fantastic daddy story do you have to share?