Dear Members of the male species,
Please, please, please…. if you have fathered a child, PLEASE “father” that child or those children. You may have had a “one night stand”, or was in a committed relationship… either way, children CAN NOT raise themselves. They need BOTH parents. There are things a mom brings, but there are some elements only a father can bring to the shaping of a child’s life.
Don’t use the lame excuse that you “don’t think the kid is your’s”….
Well, FIND OUT!!! And don’t take years to get the darn DNA test done!!!!!
You may not have “proof” of paternity in the beginning, but “be there anyway” until paternity is established.
Or, maybe you KNOW you are the father. But, because the relationship between you and the mother has ended, you have “ended it” with the child too. Dude, the child didn’t ask for a divorce. The child didn’t ask for a separation. The child didn’t ask to break up with you! So, because you walked away from the relationship, why does that warrant you walking out on the child? Seriously, that’s a question you should ask yourself. In fact, look yourself in the mirror while you answer that question.
FYI, this isn’t a “stick up.” I’m not here demanding that you empty your pockets to pay child support. Though, I do feel it’s your responsibility to contribute to the financial care of your child(ren).
You may not have a a lot of money, but TIME is the MOST VALUABLE asset you can bring to the table, in parenting a child. There are several ways you may apply your time for the well being of your child as well as forming a quality relationship with them:
1) Be involved with their education. Go to the school. Make yourself known to the teachers. Check on grades and scholastic performance. This shows the child that school matters to their “dad” so it will matter to them.
2) Be there. Show up for plays, games, award ceremonies, Easter speeches, graduations, and anything that your child is participating in. This shows them that they matter when their efforts are celebrated by their “father”.
3) Birthdays. Don’t EVER miss your child’s birthday. Call them EARLY on the day of to acknowledge them. Come to the parties, the dinners, the cookouts. Decide to be the one to throw some gatherings throughout the years. You have eighteen childhood birthdays to pick from to be the host. (If you are not plan savvy, have your child’s party at a place like a skating rink, game room, or similar child friendly places where the event can be hosted for you. Therefore, all you have to do is “be there” and pay for it.)
4) Let them come and “spend the night” with you; just because. Have a movie night, pop some popcorn; boil some hotdogs… Kids love the simple things. If you don’t have cable or can’t afford to get a movie, have favorite TV show you guys can watch together.
DO NOT invite the child to come and you leave them with a family member or your girlfriend to babysit….that’s sooooo DEFEATING the purpose.
5) Share the responsibility. If the mom works a lot of hours, offer to pick the child up from school. If your schedule permits, maybe you can keep the child until mom gets off work so she doesn’t have to pay for after school care. Another thing, save your money to aid with school supplies and CHRISTmas shopping. They come the same time every year, so, there is no excuse not to contribute.
Discipline is a part of your responsibility as a father too. When those moments arise, be a voice.
6) Be involved with the child’s activities. Help with some science projects. Take the child to sports practices and dance rehearsals sometimes and just sit and wait for them.
I can’t stress this enough. These things matter when forming character in a child. This helps to form their identity and even their destinies. And guess what… it forms character in you too, dad.
You being there in their life can keep him/her out of jail and from premature death. You being there can turn them into someone so amazing.
DUDE, they need YOU!!!! Show up!!!! Don’t be a dead beat! Don’t make them live life without you.
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