Thursday, May 28, 2009


When I first chose to move forward with The Father Project, largely my motivation stemmed from personal experience and for the benefit of myself and my son Drew. I wanted to learn and grow in order to become a better father. After researching and reading multiple articles, websites, and books pertaining to fatherhood, I am finding myself profoundly moved by the massive impact fatherhood has on our young boys. Our president has called issues relating to fatherhood the single most significant issue we face as a culture today. No longer is this just a personal endeavor.

I've found it easy to fall back into the comfort zone of my own community. Thinking, is this really a problem? These families seem happy and involved. Fathers are there...Right? Largely, the answer is no. Even if fathers are waking up everyday, heading out to work, and coming home each night, this does not mean fathers are available. Emotionally or otherwise. To make money, not argue, and to come home sober at a reasonable hour is not to be a great dad. That is not being the father our young boys need. When honest, ALL men know of the scares left from their youth as they relate to their own fathers. These scares are like war wounds we never want to see and never want to think or talk about. Perhaps like a war vet, we think no one else can possibly relate. Recently, I wrote a six page letter to my father expressing all the anger and hurt I had experienced over many years. This anger and frustration had impacted my life in numerous ways. I never mailed the letter, but I did feel so much better simply acknowledging it and putting it down in writing. The sheer pain I personally experienced just going through the process of writing this letter, serves as an indicator of the depth and impact my emotional secret has had.

Being aware of the link between fathers and sons is only the beginning. Father's MUST engage, now, in the emotional life and development of their young boys. It's never too late. Broken fences can be mended. Furthermore, mother's and wives must be involved in this process. They play a key role in helping men feel comfortable enough to "get in there". I would encourage openly discussing opportunities and ways both parents can actively engage in the healthy emotional development of their child/children. The strongest and best relationships are not "perfect" from the get go. They are created through shared experiences and not giving up. We fathers must engage in creating the relatedness it takes in order to have the emotional connection our boys so desperately need. If we aim to teach our boys to have courage and to be tough; we must willing to walk the walk ourselves by having the courage to step into not only our own emotions, but also the emotional heart of our boys. To not engage is to land a devastating blow to the life of your own child. And, secretly, you know this. Get in the game.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Equality vs. Abusive

Today women's rights are an engrained and widely excepted part of our everday culture. Women are willing, able, and active members of our workforce. From corporate CEO's to the front lines of our military, women are heard and accouted for. So, where do we draw the line with the women's rights initiative? Yes, it needed to happen. Yes, equality between genders is right, just, and good. But, at what point does the notion become abusive?

Like all things new and uncharted, two extremes will be experienced before a healthy middle ground is established. If a man and a women make a choice as a couple to have the wife stay home and manage the family affairs, isn't that their choice as a couple rather than a gender issue? I believe our courts, greedy attorneys, and many women are unjustly abusing the opportunity to capitalize on cultural expectations of men. I'm not saying all, but...What happens in the battle to "take him out" and "capture" the kids? So, women now have the money and the kids. Now what? Feel better? Safer? Best for the kids? Who really wins when the kids only see their father two days a week and he's stressed to the hilt trying to figure out how to restablize? As difficult as it may seem at the time, let's practice a little restraint and do what's best for everyone. Responding intellectually is always better than reacting out of fear or anger. Attorney's make huge money feeding off of women's fears of financial insecurity. Also, what's factored into judicial decisions to kick dad out of their childrens lives and by doing so does it really make it any better for the children or the mom? Of course, I do acknowledge many men are terribly uninvolved with their own children, but not all and that's who I'm standing for. Yes, women should get their "fair share" and each scenario is different and complex, but let's try to practice a little maturity and self-control.

Lastly, while each party may feel justified in their actions, let's also remember to throttle back and make our own choices to do what's right vs. succumbing to the fear mongers. I believe opportunist reacting out of malice have a shorter and less vibrant shelf life. Our children will one day grow up and reflect on their own lives. What will they see and if asked what will you honestly be able to tell them?

Below is an article illustrating my point.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Our Children's Reality Today

Statistically; drug use, teen pregnancy, and violence are at an all time high. Simultaneously, never before in history have both women and men worked more hours. Cause and effect? I promise you this, no one can parent my son like I can. Period. Baring given extreme scenarios, I don't believe this to be unusual. Hey moms. Dads. Let's go back to the basics. I don't care which parent is home when the kids get out of school, just as long as someone is present. One plus one is two and two is our next generation of decision makers. Our children need us to repriortize our day to day life structure. Let's get rigorous with our realities. I encourage all parents to create a sustainable life structure which allows greater presence in the lives of our children, and by doing so helping our kids keep their heads above water in today's sea of temptation and deceit. All kids will ever remember or care about is whether we were there or whether we weren't. What are some of the best memories you have with your family?