A lot of fathers believe that our role is to simply go to work, make the money, and “bring home the bacon.” They have delegated the responsibility of managing their child’s social, emotional, and educational welfare to the mother. As an educator, this is evident to me, as I only meet mothers for parent/teacher conferences. If a child is to fully maximize his/her potential, the father has to be engaged, especially with our young men. The truth is, besides working, a lot of fathers don’t know how to be involved in their child’s life. So I am going to give a few tips on how fathers can be involved, so that his child can better maximize his/ her potential.
- Attend Parent/Teacher Conferences: It’s great that the mom cares enough about her child’s education that she schedules and attends parent/teacher conferences. However, with the father also attending, it shows a “united front” and doesn’t give the impression that only one parent cares about education. Besides, it is at teacher/parent conferences where parents get tips on how to better help their child at home, and two heads are better than one.
- Know who your child is spending time with: Fathers this is very important, especially in regards to our sons. It is very important that we know who our sons call “friend” and “girlfriend,” because these individuals are extremely influential. A highly engaged father will be able to identify signs of negativity and be better equipped to address it. How many times have we seen young brothas be found guilty by association or lose their focus because of a girl that he was involved with?
- Become a Volunteer Coach: Athletics is a great platform on which our child can grow socially. And becoming a volunteer coach is a great way for a father and his child to bond. A strong and positive bond between father and child does not allow much room for outside negative influences to intervene.
- Be available for Man to Man talks: Our young men go through a lot on a day to day basis and they sometimes need someone to talk to; another man specifically. Man to Man talks provide the guidance and emotional support that our sons need to live their best possible life.
This is not an exhausted list of what fathers can do to be engaged in their child’s life, but it is a start. It is very important that we, as fathers, go to work and provide for our family, but we must not stop there, because stopping at simply being the provider could be detrimental to our child’s social, emotional, and educational well-being.
About the Author: George is an Award Nominated Educator, Author, Writer, Motivational Speaker, Certified Fatherhood Practitioner/Healthy Relationships Educator, and Special Projects Coordinator who’s truly focused on the uplifting and overall betterment of our young men. More details about George and his book “Words of Wisdom for My Son” can be found on his website www.gstew2.com. You can also follow him on twitter @twitter.com/gstew2.
The purpose of His Story is to tell the stories of Black Men young and old through videos and written work. Too often the story of Black Men is told by everyone else. His Story will be the catalyst to allow Black Men & Women to provide the positive contradiction to the prevailing Black male image of today.