Raising Sons

Being a father is an experiencing that one could never appreciate until they are one. I am a father of 4 sons. My goal has been and still is to pass along what I have learned throughout my life. With each child, you learn something new, but also know that what works with one will not always work on another. I was 21 when my first son was born. The knowledge I had was limited to how I was raised, the world around me, and what I wanted him to strive for. I became a father to my last son when I was 41. What I knew at 21 and compared to 41 has evolved, the world has evolved. What has not evolved was what I want them to learn from me so they have the knowledge to strive to be the best they can be.

Show my children that I am more than a mere father, but a dad in the home. I try to be there to teach them that no matter what happens, they know that I am always here for whatever I can provided. I teach them that in order to become a man, a man is the sum of his actions. They have to not always follow the social trends, but be their own trends. I understand that they may make decisions I may not make, but being a present dad allowed me to be a model for them to follow. I show them to do as I say because I also move the same way. I am accountable for my actions and show them that world we live in forces you to take accountability.

I let them see me become a father in my community and allow other positive males to be a visual role models. I have lived in high crime areas to suburbs. As my children grew, I made myself known to the boys and young men that was around me. When we lived in a low income area, I was outside with my children and their friends playing football. I would fire up the grill so they can have hot dogs. In the summers, I would share snacks and juice. Buy ice cream for the kids who’s parents could not do so. I did not do it because I wanted to show off. I did it to show my children that you should help who you can in any way you can. I attend games to support them. I allow them to see the coaches and young men mentor groups they have been enrolled in as a source of positivity. I help them learn that I can only teach them what I can, but a collective of men can help mold them to be great.

I tell them to become a leader. Be a leader that strives to make changes. A leader can be a shift supervisor at the fast food restaurant. One that every employee would love to work for because you have empathy and understanding. Be a leader in school. Help guide those around you to strive to be excellent. Stand up for those who can not do so for themselves. Push to be the best in any work field they enter, whether is as a garbage collector, a small business owner, or a CEO. Be the best so they can be the example.

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