Joel Austin

Fatherhood: Be Prepared For Your Child, Be Empathetic

By Joel Austin

I originally was going to write one of those top ten lists, but I became tired of those when my twelve year old son was still five. What we need to know is that our children do not care about how much money we make, or that we have to get to work on time, or what type of car we drive, or what size house we own. Brace yourself, they care about one thing and one thing only: that is how much time you spend with them. If you are also under belief that you can freely go to work while your souse or child’s mother raises fine young men, you are wrong.

All communities are affected by the fragile families, father-absence, and random unemployment. Be prepared to come straight home to talk, play, and nurture your children. Yes, I did say nurture. Men are excellent at nurturing. Whenever I talk to my son, I put my hand on his shoulder, I look him in the eye, and when we are done, I tell him I love him. This is nurturing, touching, eye contact and out ward emotions. Can you do this? Are you doing this? Start now!

Once you become a Father, you need to ask yourself, is your child’s life, dreams, and success more important to you than your own? You will have to adjust your dreams for theirs. Once you give birth to a child, the responsibility is on you to guide them in the right direction. If a job comes along that doubles your salary but takes you away from home more and more, then who is the job benefiting? It does not benefit the child to have the best bike in the neighborhood, best bat and mitt on the block, and favorite hobby, if you are not there to share them. There are Fathers out there reading this and thinking about how alone they felt as a child with the best of everything.

How do you feel when you see a man playing with his son in the park? I can tell you that you see what truly defines us. What you may not see in the park is the sacrifice that is made every minute every second of every day by that Father. It is a sacrifice of ultimate humility. It is an effort of love that brings out the best of us. In our hearts we all want to be the, “Hero” in the comic book. Fatherhood is the hero and our children are the people in distress that lookup and say, “WOW!”

What we need to know before we become Fathers is how important our role and responsibilities are to their well being. Without Fatherhood involvement, our children will be subject to failing grades, poverty, social problems, criminal behavior and drug abuse. Our job is to set the tone with structure and discipline. We bring about justice and facts along with an example of the way a good man and father acts. Our children are always watching us, that‘s why the sacrifice is so consistent. The other day, I was unable to voice my opinion and yell at a police officer writing me a ticket because I told my children to respect the police. However, if I see that officer again, I will get him a watch so he can see I was not parked that long. Back to writing…

I cannot emphasis how important it is to become comfortable with the commitment and responsibility it takes to be an involved father. I cannot also express how little money matters when it comes to being a great father. What I tend to find is the more we pay for an event the worst the event turns out for the child. We showboat our children into completing things and going places we never did. Ask your child, where would you like to go? Don’t take them to your game until they like it. Be more than just a dad, be empathetic. Seek help, seek guidance, and seek to cure your own issues before you pass them to your children.

Are you comfortable putting off your needs for the needs of your children? Are you willing to put off a tee time appointment with your associates for miniature golf with a child? Do you have a career that is comfortable for your family and their needs? Do you understand that your child is in danger of failing without your presence? Do you realize that to become a Father is not an act of science but and ordainment from the universe? Let me explain:

Fathers who live with their children are more likely to have a close, enduring relationship with their children than those who do not. The best predictor of father presence is marital status. Compared to children born within marriage, children born to cohabiting parents are three times as likely to experience father absence, and children born to unmarried, non-cohabiting parents are four times as likely to live in a father-absent home.

Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents.

Children with involved, loving fathers are significantly more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, and avoid high-risk behaviors such as drug use, truancy, and criminal activity compared to children who have uninvolved fathers.

The reality of our time is that fatherhood is the problem and the solution to our world’s problems. Fatherhood is the only description of a man that you cannot lose. Let me explain, after you leave this earth people will ask who is that person in the picture; someone will say he was a doctor, he was my husband, and he was this and that. They will always say, that is my father, he is my father or My Dad. You can never loose the title. Please understand how important this ordainment is, it can never be taken from you. It is changing the face of the world as we know it. Your baseball throwing, your attending ballet, your graduation attendance, changes someone’s life. It is the deciding factor whether your daughter or son will fall victim to teen pregnancy, school dropout, and drug use. Your child is doomed without your influence, your time, and your love.

What do you need to know before you have a child? You need to know that you cannot fix everything. Remember that you become a parent the day they are born. Understand that you become a member of the largest fraternity in the world, so ask questions. Realize that you get to live your life over thru theirs. Understand that Disney is nice, but playing catch is free and more memorable. Travel around the world first, so then you will have half the answers to the questions your children will ask you. And last but not least, the most important decision in a man’s life is who he chooses as a spouse. It governs everything else. Chose wisely!

Joel Austin and his organizations Daddy UniverCity and www.fatherfest.com are dedicated to helping all fathers appreciate themselves and the responsibility of fatherhood. To put this complex situation in simple terms, Austin would like to to heal the world one father and child at a time.

Together with Black Men In America.com, Joel will bring you a fresh, practical and relevant perspective to the issue of fatherhood. Helping fathers understand the importance their role has on the future of children throughout the world is a major task, however, it can be done and for many that task will start here on this web site and blog.

Be sure and check out Joel and his articles on the Fatherhood page at Black Men In America.com.

Thank You For Taking Me To Court by Joel Austin

Joel Austin

On April 7, 2008, I heard the Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak at St Joseph’s University. He quoted: “God has always created existence out of chaos.” Hence my life and reason for the appreciation of being taken to court.

I have more than one child’s mother, both have taken me to custody and support court. Both have called the police on me. You would think from this simple description that I am a horrible person, not at all. Actually it is the opposite; I experienced the most turmoil while becoming a better father. Puzzled? Read on.

There was a time when you were taken to court because of your refusal to care for your children, this is not true today. Support court was created to care for children in a day and age long ago yet the laws have not changed. While Dr. Martin Luther King fought for equality and the poor, family court was missed by the civil rights bills. Women who had children out of wedlock, usually by a married man, were cast away as trash in America. These men who had this child did not acknowledge this child because of the culture of the society. Women were chastised as it being their fault for opening their legs and having a child before marriage. The burden of the child’s welfare landed on the lap of the government. The government did not like paying for the mistakes of its sailors, military men, and traveling salesmen, so out of care for the children Support Court was created.

Today it needs to be reformed. There are more cases of dead broke dads than there are of dead beat dads. The support for our children has never been this difficult. Children and families are not getting rich from support, they are merely surviving. The simple solution is for two parents to decide what is best for their child. The solution is for the two parents who made the child to decide the well being and proper development for the child. What a crazy idea, but what keeps this from happening. The fact that is that in America” It is money we trust, not people.” So children can be worth money if you use them correctly. Children can also cost a lot of money if you let them.

So some mothers take the money over the responsibility of communication, marriage, and faith in their partner. Some fathers walk away from the responsibility because how closely it is related to life-long financial, social, and psychological burden.

It is the gray that is causing harm to our children in the end. Only 15% of all fathers that pay support are deadbeat dads. This is a man or woman that refuses to pay support that can! Most are dead broke, which means they have orders that say what they must pay, and have no way of paying it or very limited funds.

What will it take to get child support reform? When will we stop hurting children by damaging one or more parents? I say the solution is joint/shared custody. This makes both parents liable and accountable for their children’s well being. What do you think? Please leave your comments and opinions below.

About The Author

Joel Austin and his organization Daddy UniverCity is dedicated to helping all fathers appreciate themselves and the responsibility of fatherhood. To put this complex situation in simple terms, Austin would like to to heal the world one father and child at a time.

Together with Black Men In America.com, Joel will bring you a fresh, practical and relevant perspective to the issue of fatherhood. Helping fathers understand the importance their role has on the future of children throughout the world is a major task, however, it can be done and for many that task will start here on this web site and blog.

Be sure and check out Joel and his articles on the Fatherhood page at Black Men In America.com.

5 Responses to “FATHERHOOD”

  1. Refreshing to see someone leading the charge of Fatherhood. Much success and diligence in your effort to unite, educate and innovate fathers all across this country. Just as mothers, they too have a shape in the future of our children and this nation.

    Peace & Blessing.

  2. thatchicknik Says:

    Thank you JESUS!!! Finally, a Black Man that gets it! Not only gets it but understands and ultimately embraces it. What a powerful, well thought piece of writing!!


  3. Rico Daniels Says:

    This makes alot of since. So positive. So true. I don’t think no woman should bare the responsibility of raising children alone without their biological father. I hear women say, they’re fine on their own and their kids don’t need a father. Actually all kids need some father figure in their lives. The fact of the matter is, people don’t have their priorities in order. Their is more lust in relationships than love. You have more celebrities sending the wrong message to adults who should know better and kids who look up to them, that it’s ok to get married and then next year, get divorced. You have kids that are having kids. No family planning. There are alot of good men out there that want kids. However, it’s the law surrounding the situation that have them on the edge. I asked them why not get married and have children? They replied, “Because child support and alimony is very cotly in the United States. ” Is this being selfish or are they just protecting their future. Women make comments that all men are dogs. Actually, the men that THEY CHOSE were probably all dogs. Children are blessing and not a curse. Children need BOTH PARENTS in their lives. Children need balance. They need stability. They need, attention, love, and affection. Nobody wins when one parent is raising children alone. Nobody. It hurts on both sides financially and emotionally.

  4. Joel,

    Thank you my brother for this article on Fatherhood. I am a new blogger and my site addresses some of the same issues from a slightly different angle. When I started the blog and searched for like-minded sites, I found nothing worthwhile. I’m finally coming across worthy posts like this one (job well done).

    I hope you can help with this question. My dilemma is, I have a desire to help black dads step up to the plate but more importantly help young black boys (before they ignorantly become fathers) KNOW what fatherhood and manhood is all about. My blog touches on this; but, the information is stuck in a vacuum (i.e., online).

    In other words, those that really need the information won’t get it (example: the 15 year old that just learned his girlfriend is pregnant and in 6 months he will ignorantly become a father isn’t online researching “how to be a dad”).

    For your work addressing this issue, how are you making sure your message is reaching its audience?

    Thanks again and keep evangelizing. I’ll link back to this site from my blog.

    Look forward to your feedback.



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