All Articles Tagged "fatherhood"

Movie Review: Omar Epps and Malik Yoba Produce ‘Daddy Don’t Go’

June 17th, 2016 - By Chad Milner
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Daddy Don't Go

Daddy Don’t Go

One out of every three children in the United States grow up without fathers present in their lives.  Not Black, Latino, “urban,” or any other word carefully used to describe people of color…all children. It always seems to be that the window between Memorial Day and Father’s Day is when these “reports” are released says Black fathers are the fathers most likely to not be in their children’s lives. But statistically speaking, Black fathers are more present in their children’s lives than any ethnicity in America. The movie Daddy Don’t Go sheds light from a different perspective.

Executive produced by actors Omar Epps and Malik Yoba, Daddy Don’t Go follows four fathers–Nelson, Omar, Roy, and Alex–over the course of the course of two years.  They intimately speak and share their lives experiences raising their children in a society that often misjudges them.

Nelson is a 26-year-old from the South Bronx and member of the infamous gang, the Latin Kings.  He begins by recalling the first time he met his partner and how they fell in love.  Having two children from a previous relationship, he says to the camera as if talking to his girl, “I wanna be with you, so I wanna help.”  Refusing to go back to his old life and the gang that he was born into and raised around, Nelson moves his family to Florida since it’s so hard to find employment in New York City.

With one mother being abusive and the other incarcerated, Omar has sole custody of his three children. Omar feels as if being a father is the only thing that he does well; as a child he was diagnosed with a learning disability. His children have learning disabilities as well, and because of the severity of their circumstances, Omar must have all of his children to school on time or ACS will make a phone call and there is the possibility of them being taken away.

Roy is a formerly incarcerated felon, but most importantly he’s the dad to a son, Kaiden.  He was handed a life sentence at 16 and served six years for possession of drugs with the intent to distribute.  He too has sole custody of his son because the mother lives a young and reckless life.  At 28-years-old, Roy is having a difficult time putting his past behind him.  He has had countless job opportunities pass on him the day before he would start work because of his criminal record.  He lives at home with his parents and tends to internalize the issues that he had growing up with his father as opposed to addressing them, because ultimately it affects his relationship with his son.  Roy is a white male living in Long Island.

Alex admits that he is no stranger to the court system. Having acquired full-custody of his son, Alex, Jr. and a robbery case, Alex Sr. is striving to become a better man.  His goal is to attain a certification in automotive mechanics so that he and his son can move out of their homeless shelter in Harlem.

Each one of these men has their own version of what they consider happily ever after. In spite of a society that looks down on them for different reasons, all four of these men want to do what is best for their children with themselves being secondary.  

Equally gritty, honest, heartwarming, and thought-provoking, Daddy Don’t Go offers a microcosm to the experience of fatherhood that almost all patriarchs can relate to.  While the circumstances may differ, the goal is the same–protect and provide to the best of one’s knowledge by any and all means necessary.  Starting Father’s Day, June 19, you can watch Daddy Don’t Go Vimeo for $6.99.

The Father’s Day Gifts Dad Really Wants

June 13th, 2016 - By Chad Milner
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dating a single dad

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A few days ago, I was talking with my daughter and nephew, who for all intents and purposes is my son.  My daughter asked me to make a promise to her that I would do something, and my nephew replied, “Uncle Chad doesn’t make promises because he does what he says.”  That was one of the most validating moments and probably the greatest gift he could have given me for Father’s Day.

Father’s don’t say it aloud, but we only get two days a year: our birthday and Father’s Day.  Dads are hard to shop for because most of us don’t find fulfillment in material objects as gifts.  The real dream of silence and being unbothered won’t happen.  So instead, we’ll take something nice and tangible to show we are appreciated on the third Sunday in June.  Do the father in your life a favor and give him some things he might actually like.

 

Filip Watch

Filip Watch

FiLiP Wearable Phone and Locator

Need to know where your children are?  Are running a little late coming home?  Do you need to send them a quick text?  FiLiP has created a device and app for this.  From your cell phone, you can keep tabs on your offspring.  The app features a Safezones, Voice Calling, Text Messaging, Smart Locator, and Intelligent Emergency calls: which calls, records, and gives their location to five different people.  Price: $149.99

 

steam iron

Steamfast Steam Iron

Steamfast SF-717 Home-And-Away Steam Iron

It’s the smallest steam iron on the market.  Hotel irons are beyond trash and it’s a crapshoot whether or not there’s one in the Airbnb you’re staying in on that business trip.  At 5.2x3x3.1 inches, it’s about as big as your phone, so packing one of these is very easy.  Also, it heats up in 15 seconds…good to know.  Price: $20.00

 

Bragi

Bragi

Dash Wireless Headphones by Bragi

These are the first truly wireless headphones.  They don’t have you looking goofy with that horseshoe around your neck and the strings hanging down to your chest.  With superior sound quality, an integrated 4GB hard drive to store music, waterproof for swimmers, an in-ear coach that give live feedback while working out, this right here sounds like the answer to many prayers…just don’t forget that they’re in your pocket when doing laundry.  Price: $299.99

Johnnie Walker Platinum

Johnnie Walker Platinum

Johnnie Walker Platinum

Black men and dark liquor go together like…black men and dark liquor.  Johnny Walker’s newest blend is much like your child leaving your house: eighteen years in the making.  While still having that famous kick your grandfather and father loved in Johnny, it is very smooth.  Maybe that was just in my household; but the Johnny Was reserved for certain occasions and long days to sip by one’s self.  Either way, it’s great.  Price: $99.99

 

Bevel

Bevel

Bevel Trimmer

While it is still in the preorder phase, this is the gift every barber and man of color is eyeing.  Bevel has been making a name for itself as the leader of shaving and grooming products designed specifically for the skin and hair of men of color.  Also, Bevel is solely owned by a black man, Tristan Walker.  Not only are you purchasing an amazing product that would build momentum, you’re investing in a black business. Price: $179.95

 

Sunscreen Flask

Sunscreen Flask

Sunscreen Flask

Outside of New Orleans and Penn Station, it’s illegal to drink in public.  Some beaches don’t allow alcohol and the bar is incredibly expensive at ballparks.  But no one says no to taking sunscreen in the summer.  Price: $9.39

 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Father’s Day Travel Packages

Sometimes the best gift is getting out.  It can be a family trip; but those wind up being work.  Ship the kids off to grandma’s for the weekend and do things that made you guys parents in the first place.

Tom Ford

Tom Ford

Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

Tom Ford is very expensive; but the product is worth it.  Neroli Portofino is for the summertime.  Made of stuff we never actually look at when reading the bottle, it’s got a bright and light smell that had me taking multiple trips to the mall for the tester.  Price: $220

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

Robert Graham Bag

For the stylish dad.  The navy blue with brown paisley pattern is a stylish standout.  It’s my favorite accessory.  It’s perfect for storing your laptop and all essentials when traveling back and forth for work or for aesthetic purposes.  This silk red one might need to be my Father’s Day gift to myself.  Price: $298+.  However, here are other variations at different price points.

 

Samsung Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR

Samsung Gear VR

Dads will really get a kick out of Samsung’s Gear Virtual Reality Headset. The Gear VR allows Dads to be transported to amazing new worlds in games, video and images with 360 degree panoramic views. With easy touch controls and enhanced visuals, Dads can find their escape, all while staying in their homes. Price: $100

Fatherhood: Why Emotional Baggage Can Be A Good Thing

May 5th, 2016 - By Chad Milner
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Shutterstock

I think having issues gets a bad rap.  Sure, the experiences that cause said afflictions usually aren’t positive and can even be traumatic.  However, we all have emotional baggage and when dealt with properly it can be define our lives in a positive way.

One of the keys to my heart is having some semblance of emotional baggage.  As a man I think it appeals to the part of me that is a provider and a caretaker.  I like to think of the past as segues to the rest of our lives.  When dealt with properly, it is a sign of maturity.  It means that they are more apt with decision making, picks and chooses battles, and knows how to let go of the emotional aspects of adverse experiences all while holding onto the lesson.  Most of their outlook on life and love isn’t from an ideal place.  Even if virtually all of their romantic experiences have been dismaying, the mindset when it comes to love and their future is based on application.  Developing a relationship isn’t based on just throwing things up against a wall and seeing what sticks because they know who they are.  That is sexy to me…

Sometimes baggage can make us a little more guarded; but that is only for those who do not own it.  People see it as something that they can get rid of.  You can’t erase what has happened.  It becomes a part of you.  It is locked into you emotional memory and only can become debilitating when one has not accepted this.

Yes, it may be easier said than done; but owning one’s past-good, bad, or indifferent-is freeing but is a process.  It’s an exercise.  The best way that I can explain this is by giving my own transformation story.  My daughter’s mother passed away from esophageal cancer.  She had a very difficult time ingesting food and I would find myself buying her food from multiple places just hoping she could eat one.  Being that we were poor I didn’t want to waste food so I’d eat them all.  At 6’1” I had ballooned up to 255lbs.

After she passed away, I made a choice to be different.  I took an old book bag and put water-filled liquor bottles into it.  The bag weighed somewhere between fifty to seventy pounds.  I simple wore the bag all day.  It was heavy as all hell at first and very difficult to move around.  It hurt my back and I could feel the burn in my legs and core as well.  However, I do know that the “burn” associated with exercise is one’s muscles tearing and repairing themselves that makes them stronger.  I would take my daughter Cydney for walks in her stroller a good two miles a day.  Slowly but surely, I didn’t even realize the bag was on my back.  It had become an extension of me and I would add more weight to it.  Eventually I moved onto other exercises and experiences; but this was the catalyst to do so.  I’d dropped down to 185lbs and eventually gained an extra 30lbs of muscle.  I’m healthier, stronger, able to take on more weight, and I can help others do the same.

I use this metaphor because it is a parallel of how to view one’s negative experiences from past relationships.  They are crushing, can be extremely burdensome, and feel like it is impossible to move on from.  Make a choice and follow through with it.  After grieving, moving on usually starts off with being in some kind of survival mode.  That can be anything from retreating to denial or even indulging in one’s vice a little bit.  Not always healthy; but sometimes in order to survive an animal has to chew a leg off to get out of a trap.  You take things one day at a time.  Trying to move around with this burdensome hurt can seem futile and even impossible some days.  In time you won’t even notice it’s there.

Pop Mom: Famous Gay Dads Kaleb And Kordale Are Expecting Baby Number 5! Hmmm…

April 28th, 2016 - By Erickka Sy Savane
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Kaleb and Kordale

Kaleb and Kordale

When it comes to gay black dads you won’t find a more famous couple than Kaleb and Kordale who won our hearts a few years ago when a picture of them combing their daughters’ hair went viral. In no time, Nikon swooped them up for an ad campaign featuring them and their three kids in a video just living their daily lives, and their instagram exploded with followers. Just when it seemed like things could get no better, they broke up, sending many of their fans into therapy. Kaleb posted an instagram message that eluded to the fact that Kordale may have been unfaithful- say it ain’t so!- and then like a page out of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, they got back together, and to speed things up, now everything is fine and they’re expecting baby number five via a surrogate in the fall. Talk about drama.

While I love when couples work things out, especially when kids are involved, I have to bring up the elephant in the room.

Here are two very popular gay men living in Atlanta, the Black gay capital of the world, with what we strongly speculate to be a history of infidelity. What are the chances that they’re going to stay monogamous? And it’s not that they’re gay that makes me question how faithful they can be, it’s that they’re men. If we accept that men and women are wired differently and men have a harder time being with one person, I’m thinking this family might not make it past sundown and what about the future of those kids?

Curious to get an outside, or perhaps, inside view, I discuss it with Jamal, a gay friend in his 30’s.

He says, “If two people want to be together they will find a way. If they are TRULY committed to each other Big City temptations and social media shouldn’t play a role at all. It’s about the strength of the bond they’ve created.  It’s a no brainer to me.”

Devon, another gay friend in his late 40’s isn’t as optimistic.

“Unfortunately,” he says, “the gay culture, especially the young ones, tend not to be monogamous. I choose to be exclusive because I’m not trying to be out there catching any diseases.”

Read the full article here.

Why People Without Children Shouldn’t Give Parenting Advice

April 6th, 2016 - By Chad Milner
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Shutterstock

I am a pretty laid back person and I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to criticism.  Hell, even moments where I am “in my feelings” only last a few minutes; it takes a lot to get me angry. With all of that said, there is one thing that annoys me almost more than anything else on the planet: people without children giving me parenting advice.

Yes, more than the sound of nails on a chalkboard, sitting in heavy traffic because people are rubbernecking at a car accident, and more than when people say “fustrate” and “conversate.”

There’s just something about people without children giving me parenting advice that drive me up the wall.  When someone who hasn’t procreated responds to “You should (insert counsel here),” it takes almost every fiber of my being to respond with a phrase that rhymes with “What the truck cup.”

I am aware that, for the most part, people mean well and aren’t passing judgment.  However, I feel as if this is one of the very few arenas in which everyone feels as if they are experts and they have no experience.  There is no manual on how to raise a child, everyone comes from a parent, and were raised by someone.  How one was raised and how one actually raises their children are very different.

For starters, there is something in a person that changes when they become a parent. 

One could love and have played a major role in being a parent figure in a child’s life; but it’s just different.  You see the world differently.  Self becomes secondary not because one decides to; it’s instinct.  There are many things my parents said or did that I didn’t understand-even as an adult-but once I had my daughter made sense.  If-or when-I have a second child, I would do things very differently because no matter how many books one reads, siblings they have, or what have you, is an on-the-job kind of thing.

Many times non-parents respond to things by saying “My friend who has kids,” or some variance of that statement.  Nope, try again.

What your friends or whatever would do is very different from what you would do.  Their collective experiences, applicable knowledge, and paradigm is different.  Everything a non-parent says is speculative.  I can think of so many things I have said before my daughter that I would never do that I do now.  “Why are you paying so much money for tuition for a four year old that you can barely afford?”  Because she’s in a very good school and I feel it’s a worthy investment in my kid.  “But my friend doesn’t.”  Maybe this is something that means a little bit more to me than them.  Maybe because I grew up in a family full of teachers so that shaped the way I see schools.  Maybe said upbringing has determined how I looked at the teachers in that school and I think they can being the best out of my child who has a unique temperament.

I think that in my circumstance because I am a single father I get it a lot. 

I think part of the stigma about how fathers do things a little differently than mothers do comes into play.  I do many things in a manner that’s a little unconventional because the circumstances in which I became a single parent are unusual and I swear on everything I love I think my daughter has been here before.  Yes, I don’t try to be a mother to my daughter because I can’t.  However, I am still nurturing to her.  Most people see mothers as just being nurturers and fathers as kind of bumbling fools who protect and just do a lot of the fun stuff.  It is almost astounding how many of my women friends don’t believe that I am quite a disciplinarian with my daughter.

I think I am a damn good father; I can’t think of too many people who would say otherwise.  But I don’t think that I’m perfect, either.  I am pretty sure I mess up from time to time and there are things that I do as a parent that will cause some kind of complex within my daughter.  Every parent does this.

Nonetheless, more than likely I–or most parents–know they have that one or two thing that is a breaking point. Mine is music.  I was raised by a musician and that will always be my first love and passion.  I have learned how to ignore Disney and Nick Jr. shows that play over and over again.  But I can’t STAND stuff like Kidz Bop.  I think it’s corny and most of that stuff just makes my insides cringe.  For the most part, I have found some semblance of balance in this.  I am very careful of what Cydney listens to and what she repeats (In fact, nine out of 10 times, she knows what she should and shouldn’t repeat on her own).

I don’t listen to anything referring to drugs or sexual around her.  But I love hip hop and I love that my kid does too.  With all of that said, since I am with my child with not much relief, there are but so many times I can hear her music over and over in the car that I am driving us somewhere before I lose it.  So guess what?  I’m gonna turn on the radio and Cydney is gonna listen to the latest Fetty Wap song three or four times for the sake of my sanity.  If she asks me what does something mean I will answer it and if it is particularly funny I will laugh to myself or out loud if I deem appropriate to do so.

If I post something on social media or tell a story to my non-parent friends and they say: “You shouldn’t do that,” I want them all to know I am thinking: “Shut up.  You’ve never had a kid you can’t drop off.”

I would be a lot more receptive to the opinions of people without children if they started off their statements with: “I think.”  I’m a stickler for language, so changing one’s vocabulary does change the context.  “I think” insinuates that your opinion is speculative and “You should” is authoritative.  It makes a world of a difference.

…I just needed to vent.

Pop Mom: Navy Dad Bashon Mann Found Himself By Writing ‘Daddy’s Love Notes’

March 31st, 2016 - By Erickka Sy Savane
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Bashon and his daughters

Bashon and his daughters

It was three years ago that Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, Bashon Mann, found himself approaching his 40 birthday and feeling completely lost. He was a recently divorced father of two girls, ages six and nine, and he knew that he wanted to be present for them, but he wasn’t sure how. It was a real question for him because divorce was never in his plans. His own parents were still together and living in the same house that he grew up in.

Around the same time, he noticed that his Facebook friends were doing fun things to commemorate their 40th birthdays. Things like: “40 of my best friends” or “40 days of no meat.” Mann got the idea to do something creative that would incorporate his girls. He would write them 40 letters in 40 days. Each letter would focus on a lesson he learned from his life. Hopefully, it could serve as a guide for them when they got older.

Mann began writing the letters and sharing them on Facebook and a funny thing happened. People started following. “It was a shock to me because these were just experiences from my life. I didn’t expect people to be that interested,” Mann says.

Ironically, the positive feedback gave him the confidence to dig deeper, and he became more expressive. The letters, which started out entertaining, began taking on a more serious tone. He was writing about topics he wanted to cover with his girls–like the time he got in front of the church to sing a solo, but forgot the words, as well as what he learned from lying to his family and friends to cover up his failures–but he was also chiming in on current events that he couldn’t ignore, like the murder of Trayvon Martin. No matter the topic, people couldn’t wait for the next letter. All of this would become his book, Daddy’s Love Notes.

One day, he was leaving a military conference and a co-worker came up to him and grabbed his arm. “I need to speak to you,” she said. “I just want to thank you for writing those letters. They changed my life.”

Read the full story here.

My Husband Works At Home, So What?

March 24th, 2016 - By Tanvier Peart
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Ergo Baby Carrier

Ergo Baby Carrier

Our human ability to cast judgement on others will never cease to amaze me. All of us are guilty of pointing fingers or “sipping the tea” from someone else’s life.

My husband works at home but is not your typical stay-at-home dad. Thanks to modern technology and a little thing called telecommuting, he’s able to work from his home office full-time in a different state from his company’s physical location. This has afforded our growing family (we have two son’s under two-years-old) the opportunity to live in a state that has a lower cost of living.

Whenever the topic of jobs come up, it’s always interesting to hear the responses. People know my man is an engineer but are puzzled as to how he can work from home so much–and why he thinks it’s okay to do so. I guess all men are suppose to be outside of the home during the day to prove their manliness? The funny thing is his guy friends think it’s the coolest setup, though they can’t seem to understand it involves working and not playing video games all day.

If you talk to my husband, he’s very proud to be a work-from-home daddy as it gives him additional time to spend (and bond) with his son. Sure we both get busy throughout the day (I work from home, too), but our situation is so perfect as we can both do what we love without paying for childcare. I wouldn’t change it for the world and look at him with such pride.

Those who raise an eyebrow to my husband being home “graciously” give him a pass once they figure out he works. This of course opens up a new discussion about the dynamics of today’s modern family and how things are changing. Men can be men and stay at home with their children. A very good friend of mine and her family are a great example of this. She works full-time while her husband takes care of the house, and their three children’s daily hobbies and school responsibilities. He also takes here-and-there jobs on the side to help bring in additional income if needed.

Parents who make the choice to stay at home is a decision between those individuals–and shouldn’t receive judgement from outsiders. At the end of the day, no one knows their finances, how much they save and other dynamics about their household. If it works for them, let it work for them.

I find it interesting how women fight so hard to remove gender-based stereotypes, but yet, will oftentimes be the one to point the finger at a man if he doesn’t fulfill a certain image.

What Men Learn About Women While Raising Daughters

March 15th, 2016 - By Keya Kay
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Chad Milner and Cydney

As many before us have said, there is no handbook to parenting. We’ve been taught that parenting is one of the most rewarding lifetime gigs you see no monetary gains from, a life-changing experience no one is prepared for or mastered and is also unique to every individual. After years of having worked with a variety of personality types and parenting styles, I noticed something interesting. As time progressed the answers to many of my parenting questions became gender specific. For example, it went from, “I have toddler at home who won’t be still” to “Ugh, I don’t want see another Iron Man toy for the rest of my life” to “Good, Lord! Boys are so weird! His mood swings are killing me slow.” And finally, “My, God. My son is growing into a smelly, scrotum-adjusting, Sports Center junkie who eats up all my snacks and farts on command. What the hell happened? Where’s my little boy who loved Iron Man?”

As a mother, the reality of your son growing into a adult who will eventually be someone’s husband and father becomes clear. You start to wonder what kind of future you’ve had a major hand in shaping for generations to come. With careful reflection, I can’t help but evaluate what I’ve learned about men as a gender while raising a boy. And surely, the same goes for fathers and daughters, right?

So for this particular story, we talked to fathers of young daughters to get an idea of what they’ve learned about women while raising their baby girls … and we started in our very own office!

MadameNoire fam, meet Chad Milner. Immediately after the untimely death of his daughter’s mother, Chad took on the daily duties of raising his daughter, Cydney, solo. You can hear his smile and feel his fulfillment when he speaks about his many adventures with “Cyd” who is now a preschooler. Without a doubt, it’s safe to assume he wouldn’t trade his life as a single father for the world.

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Take a look at what he–and a few other dads–have to say about their learning experience since raising daughters.

Essentially, before my daughter was born, I lived my life like this: I want as little karma as possible to come my way because I feel like I’m going to have a daughter. Unfortunately, I’ve made some d**khead moves and broken a couple hearts along the way and I had to chalk it to the game. But now, having a daughter, one of the things I’m really keen on is this: anybody that I’m seeing, I want to treat them the way I want my daughter treated. Whether it’s one date or a lifetime, it’s something I really try to do. That’s probably why I attract women who are daddy’s girls. I typically date women who have incredibly tight relationships with their father but, then again, I guess you attract what you are. To add to that, Dad is a girl’s first love – so for me, knowing that my daughter will grow up and start dating, I need her to know what to look for in a man by showing her myself. And just a word of advice to single fathers: if you have a little girl, figure it out! If you need to learn how to braid hair, figure it out. If you need to learn to cook, there’s YouTube for that. And you know what? That’s what kids are for, they soften you up and make you stronger at the same time. And I have to remember, as much as you’re raising them, they’re also raising you. – Chad Milner – MadameNoire Contributor and single father

What have I learned about women raising my daughters? That’s a good question. It’s the little things. I’ll give you the prefect example. We bought my daughter a bike for her birthday this summer, she just turned four. It was pink and had the little trainers and streamers with sparkles on it and, of course, we had to get her a helmet. So, before we gave her the bike, I doodled a little character on her helmet and signed it. My wife said it was corny and that I shouldn’t mark up her brand new helmet but I said, ‘Whatever.’ So she sees the bike and got on it and when we went to put the helmet on her, she sees my little drawing and she was like “Daddy, you did drew that?” and her eyes lit up and she carried that helmet under her arm for the entire party and was running around telling everybody I “drawed” on her helmet. She was so happy to share something so simple, not the bike. That’s really what made me realize it’s the little things. It’s the thought that counts. – Jermaine, 42, father of three

I’ve learned that in order to make a woman happy, as a man, you have to be patient. My baby girl is only 16 months old and she’s way more advanced than my son was at her age. She’s walking, talking and more than anything, doing really well at expressing what she wants, and she knows how to get it – from me and her mom. For me, she’ll point and lean towards something and we’ll talk our way to the register. For her mom, she’ll whine and throw a fit until she gets her way. It’s funny. But to get back to the patience part, I’ve learned that women are emotional to point where you can’t take it personally, they’re just emotional. She gets mad at me and will twist her face, fold her arms, stomp and be genuinely irritated with me, then two minutes later comes over and gives me a hug and acts like nothing happened. I’m like, wow! That’s how y’all do it, huh? So I’ve learned that as long as a woman has what she wants, she’s content. It’s that simple. And I’ve learned, through my daughter, that they really don’t want much. Love, affection, attention and mutual respect – it’s really that simple. I would’ve saved myself from so much drama if I had learned that sooner. – Charles, 33, father of two

How you love her is going to determine what she calls love as an adult. I learned this to be true with my ex-wife. I still love her dearly. I had both my kids with her and we really fought the good one for some years to try and keep the family together, but it came to a point where I had to realize that loving her was killing me. I’d do anything for that woman and for a long time I thought that love could change a person and make them whole…it just doesn’t. Her relationship with her father until the day he died was awful. He was abusive to her and her mother and brother and she always talked about how rejected she felt by him. Let me say this – throughout our marriage, if I felt just a little bit of the rejection she felt growing up then she felt pretty s****y for a really long time and that’s no way to live. She never made peace with her father and I really believe that if they had made amends and tried to work out their differences, both of their lives would’ve been different. Heck, my life would be different! I just couldn’t convince her that she was deserving of love from an honest man like myself and it destroyed us. Like the other day, I was painting my nine-year-old daughter’s toenails at the house when she came to pick the kids up and she finally let me paint hers. After all these years, she finally let me make a loving gesture towards her without suspicion and it took 15 years. I could go on and on but if you don’t love you daughter, she won’t know it when it’s real. She won’t know how to accept and return it either. – Samuel, 41, father of two

Am I Wrong For Telling My Kid We Aren’t Friends?

January 22nd, 2016 - By Chuck Creekmur
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A few days ago, my daughter comes up to me and says, “You’re my best friend!” I was startled at the statement. My mental knee jerked and I responded, “I’m not your friend. I’m your father.” I could immediately see her energy deflate a bit. It got me thinking: “Did I make a mistake?”

So, let me explain a few things.

As a parent, I am part new-school and part old-school. The old-school part clearly comes from my father and mother, who were traditionalists. I heard things like, “Don’t talk back,” “Get a switch,” and communication was mostly a one-way street. I’m a bit different. I am still into my hip-hop, love comic books and movies, and can even dap. My daughter and I talk about everything from Kanye West as a Kardashian to Marcus Garvey’s theories to binge watching the Star Wars saga. At times, we dance in the house until we are out of breath. Shoot, we recently pulled up some instrumentals on Spotify and freestyled after dinner. Then I told her to go finish her homework.

Now, I know there has to be a clear line between parent and so-called “friend,” but I’m still pondering.

Best friends tend to be honest with each other. They communicate. They work out their issues. They have fun and they laugh a lot.  Parents can be bummers.  They make you clean your room and do the dishes. Kids, as they ease into adulthood, tend to lie to their parents. They hide a lot. They fumble through their teen years with their peers a accomplices. Furthermore, I have noticed that the mother/daughter dynamic often results in a closer relationship. (This has a lot to do with the “Black don’t crack theory.)

I have to conclude that we can be a hybrid, but we cannot truly be friends. I cannot tell my daughter my true feelings about certain family members. I certainly didn’t realize such and such was was a bum until I was older. My daughter does not make the decisions in the house. We often talk about how we move, but ultimately I make the decisions. Pulling rank is particularly important with matters of money (LOL!). Parents and friends see life much differently. I’m getting my daughter ready for the world, and that’s not going to happen being a friend.

A wise person once said, “You aren’t a good parent if you child never says ‘I hate you’ at least once. While I never want to hear those words, I am prepared.

I once whispered those words in a way that was never heard from another living soul. (I’d get a whuppin!) My daughter is still a preteen and has not yet fully exerted her individualism. I know that is on the way and it will be far more difficult to be “besties.” Recently, in a freestyle rap, she said it again. I didn’t correct her this time. I just busted a rap and let the iPad record the whole thing. We laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.

Being friends isn’t so bad. Being a father is a gift.

Just know there are boundaries and times when separation is parenting. For the other times, we can rock matching Tim boots and trade battle raps until her true best friend Daniella takes over.

So parents, am I wrong for telling my kid we aren’t friends?

Charlemagne Explains How His 7-Year-Old Daughter Convinced Him To Marry His High School Sweetheart

January 11th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Charlemagne Explains How His 7-Year-Old Daughter Convinced Him To Marry His High School Sweetheart

Source: MTV

On the radio, Charlemagne can be a jerk. He has to be entertaining and say what most of us are thinking and he has to keep the people coming back for more. And he does his job well. And despite the fact that he’s known to make celebrities feel like they’re just not “it,” he does have a softer side. This other side will occasionally make an appearance. Like when he told Musiq Soulchild he used to rock his daughter to sleep to his song “Love,” while simultaneously telling him that his new alter ego”The Husel” was a terrible mistake.

In a recent interview with XO Necole, the 35-year-old radio personality opened up about the people who make him the mushiest. His high school sweetheart turned wife and two daughters, one seven years old and the other four months old.

Check out a few of the highlights below.

What will you tell your daughters about love, relationships and knowing their worth?

You have to show your kids love. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to get married. Me and the mother of my kids have been together since high school. When you have your seven-year-old daughter asking why you and mommy don’t have the same last name, that affects you as a man. It made me think, ‘Well, why don’t we? What’s stopping me from taking that next step?’

Love is something you have to witness.  It’s good to see two parents living in the house, embracing each other, laughing and talking; you have to lead by example.

She also understands the value of a dollar, and how hard her parents work to provide the life she has. At seven-years-old, she’s sassy. She already has plans and goals and things that she wants to accomplish, and I’m not going to let anyone take that from her. I’m going to let her be a strong as she wants; I’m not going to let her be submissive to anyone. You have to really empower your children and teach them that they’re bosses, kings, queens and goddesses.

I’ve always said having two girls is “The Player’s Curse.” Whenever you’ve broken a lot of hearts in your life or you’ve treated women a certain way, God will give you women to raise. Everyone says it’s a blessing, I believe that, but I also believe it’s a little bit of karma because it makes me think about how I deal with women. The way I treat any woman is how I would want someone to treat my daughters. I already know someone is gonna read this and say, “look what you did to Lil Mama” (referring to the infamous July 2011 interview on The Breakfast Club where he made the rapper and actress cry). First of all that was five years ago, and my daughters will be well equipped to snap back at jokes better than Lil Mama.

Why he’s decided to keep his wife and children off of social media?

First of all, I’m not raising my kids via social media. I never felt like that was a place for my family to be. I don’t knock anyone who does it, but I don’t want my family on Facebook or Twitter. That’s something I chose not to do. Some of my homies have told me that they wish they would have listened to me and not put their kids on social media because now when they’re out in the streets, strangers recognize their kids. We live in a creepy world where people want to take photos with celebrities family members and that doesn’t make sense to me. I see girls taking pics with Drake’s father and that’s just weird to me.

And then, shifting directions, he spoke about his former relationship with Wendy Williams and how she gave him his big break.

I came from South Carolina to New York and worked for Wendy Williams for free for a year. Wendy and her husband told me they couldn’t pay me, but they gave me a place to stay. You tell me how many kids nowadays would recognize opportunity if there wasn’t a paycheck attached to it. I recognized the opportunity to do something I loved to do on a large scale and I took it.

Growing up I was always a radio junkie. As a kid I would turn on the local radio station’s “Top 9 at 9” I always knew who all of the radio jocks were and I would take my cassette tapes and record different songs on the radio. Initially, I wanted to rap because that’s every guy in the hood’s dream. You have to understand that a young black man just wants to be successful and when we see other people that look like us that are well off, they’re usually in entertainment or playing sports so I wanted to do that.

I have a tattoo of Wolverine holding a microphone on my arm because I thought I was going to be a rapper, but I didn’t realize that mic symbolized my radio career. I didn’t have any formal training, but I wasn’t doing what everyone else did cause. I used to sit back and wonder why radio personalities weren’t asking the most obvious questions or really giving their opinions on the music or the artists. I always wondered why they didn’t sound human. So if you ask me what my talent is, I would say the gift of gab. But I hate that people think this is so easy. I’ll go online and I’ll see someone say that such and such is “the next C. The God” and automatically I assume that they do radio, but I check them out and they’re just tweeting! That’s just words! Get on the mic and let’s see if you can speak well enough to make people gravitate towards you. Keeping someone entertained for four hours is difficult. Wendy Williams has a gift–she can literally turn the mic on and talk for four hours straight, she doesn’t need a co-host or anyone else in the room; she can just find things to talk about and that’s hard to do, I’m still perfecting that. We’ve brought interns in the room on The Breakfast Club and we’ve had them read Angela Yee’s “Rumor Report,” and they sound terrible! Then they realize how hard it is to convey their thoughts to millions of people.

Check out Charlemagne’s article where he discusses being fired four times throughout his career and the lessons he’s learned from those experience, in the rest of the interview.