When I was a kid growing up in Baltimore City, I often wondered what it would be like to be a father. I always felt in some way that he would be a good father, but was not sure how he would get there. For most of my childhood, I grew up in a single family home with my mother. Our life during my childhood was good, but we often struggled because my mother worked so hard to make ends meet. I saw my mother work full time while I was in college and she took care of me. As he continued to excel in his career, our quality of life improved. I really admired her for that, but something was still missing.
My father was there while I was growing up, but not on a daily basis. In fact, there were long periods of time when I didn’t see my dad. When I had a chance to spend time with him, he taught me things, but they were usually most useful to me on the street. I mean, he taught me to be tough and to stand up for myself. Those kinds of things helped me a lot, but I also needed to be around other positive men who could collectively teach me what it was all about being a man and ultimately a great father. I needed and wanted to learn how to do that.
As I grew into adulthood, I learned that it takes more than reaching a certain age or having the ability to reproduce for someone to be a good parent. When I became a father, I realized that I was automatically admitted into an elite brotherhood fraternity that easily surpasses any other fraternity anyone can be a part of in terms of level of importance. I came to understand that God gave me the obligation to be my children’s teacher.
Over the years, I have made many mistakes in dealing with my children. Not everything has always turned out the way I wanted, as nothing rarely happens. I have learned that it takes a combination of various attributes to help me become a better parent. There are several characteristics that every parent should incorporate into themselves that can help them be the best possible parent that they can be. I have compiled a list of some of those features.
1. Every parent should be a model to follow for your children. Many young people tend to look up to celebrities to follow the pattern. Some of those celebrities accept that role and handle it quite well. On the other hand, I can’t count how many times athletes have rejected the responsibility of being a role model for children. They don’t want that responsibility. There are others who seem to want the role but are in no condition to bring a five-year-old into a kindergarten classroom. Above any other group, the job of the parent is to live the kind of life that any child would want to emulate.
2. Every parent should be a professor. A father must instruct his children in all matters of life. That is not to say that a parent should know everything. Nobody knows everything. The point is that the father must be involved in all aspects of his children’s lives. He should be there to give you advice and guidance to help your children as they develop and progress in life. Parents should certainly be able to share the lessons they have learned throughout their lives with their children that can have profound effects on them too. In my opinion, besides a school teacher, no other person should turn to a child more than his father.
3. Every parent should be a disciplinary since all children need discipline in their life. Parents should be the catalysts for discipline for their children so that the court system does not have to become that catalyst. Being a disciplinarian is about teaching children to obey the laws and follow the rules that are enforced through consequences. Developing a reverence for leadership must begin with the father. Done correctly, children will often become law-abiding citizens with a healthy respect for authority in all areas of their lives.
Four. Parents are supposed to be the main provider for your children. Financial situations are different for everyone, but the effort to provide should not be solely financial in nature, although it is very important. It is still only one aspect of the rendering. Other aspects of caring for children may include, but are not limited to, friendship, love, safety, emotional support, guidance, and life skills. This list of things could go on forever, but the point is that being an active parent can have a positive and powerful influence on the development of our children.
5. Parents can be empathizers for your children. We are a source of knowledge and information for our children. The experiences we have gone through can help us pass on wisdom that will be invaluable to them. We are the ones who can relate the most to our children. While there may be some variations in the situations young people face today, we can still have some level of understanding and even compassion for what they go through. Sometimes our children may not even need us to solve all their problems. Just being there to listen to them could do wonders for their esteem and give them a sense of support.
Being a parent is not easy for many reasons. There are so many things to deal with when it comes to raising children. It is even more difficult when the father and mother do not live in the same household. However, being a parent is a great privilege that should not be taken lightly. Every man who is fortunate enough to have children will automatically be included in the brotherhood of fatherhood and must propose in himself to live according to the code of brotherhood. It is our responsibility to raise our children. If we relegate that responsibility to others, we are delinquent in our obligation to God, negligent in our communities, and ultimately responsible for the outcome of any of our children going astray.
Parents, let’s work hard together to make a positive change in our children’s lives. We have to step up our game. There are many of our children who are going the wrong way, but we can reverse that by increasing the level of activity we have in the lives of these children. Whether or not a man is a biological father, he can be a member of the fatherhood fraternity by being a mentor to a young man in need. By understanding that parenting is difficult, we can also ask ourselves for advice when we encounter unfamiliar territory. We don’t have to try to do everything on our own. We are a band of brothers. We are the brotherhood of fatherhood!