Ten Thing Every Black Father Needs to Do

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

1) Tell your kids you love them every single day

Love not only makes the world go round, but every person needs to feel loved in order to have the balance necessary to be truly successful. If you love your kids, don’t just show it with your actions, say it with words. It will keep them from seeking love in all the wrong places.

2) Set an example for other fathers

The black male gets a bad rap for allegedly being an irresponsible father. We know that this stereotype is a misguided reflection of America’s historical hatred of the black male, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t encourage each other to do a better job. Demand that other brothers in your circle stand up as good fathers to their children, in spite of their circumstances. It can be tough to be a good parent with sky high unemployment and incarceration rates, but that doesn’t give you an excuse not to try. Those of us who ignore our children should be shamed into realizing how harmful such irresponsibility is to our community.

3) Always find a way to show respect to their mother

Even if you can’t stand the woman you had a child with, you should always give her as much respect as you possibly can. Kids don’t enjoy watching their parents fight, no matter whose fault it is. Also, in spite of your differences, you must always find a way to show appreciation toward the woman who gave life to your offspring.

4) Prepare them for the bullsh*t

We know that being black isn’t easy. You have to be twice as good to get half as much and life sometimes kicks you in the butt when you don’t deserve it. Prepare your kids for life as an African American, letting them know that they are going to have to be tough, smart and courageous to succeed in a world where the odds can be stacked against them. We all know that life isn’t fair, and it’s important to make sure your kids are prepared for the coming disparities.

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1 Comment

Filed under African Americans

One response to “Ten Thing Every Black Father Needs to Do

  1. Dr. Watkins, thank you very much for sharing this pertinent information for fathers and about fathers. Please go to trinitychicagoblog.org to listen to a podcast that features an African American man who is defying the societal stereotypes about Black fathers.

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