All Articles Tagged "fatherhood"
President Obama recently signed the BABIES (Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation) Act— a new law that requires baby changing tables to be placed in men’s restrooms.
“The new bill requires male and female restrooms in a public building to be equipped with baby changing facilities that the General Services Administration determines are physically safe, sanitary, and appropriate,” according to Congress.gov.
The Huffington Post reports, Rhode Island’s Representative David Cicilline introduced the bill to Congress by noting, “Government needs to do more to ensure that public buildings are family-friendly. No mom or dad should ever have to worry about finding a safe, sanitary place to change their baby ― least of all in a federal building that’s paid for by taxpayers.”
Although the provision only affects public buildings, it introduces a dynamic change in thought regarding equality when it comes to parenting duties. It also allows gay couples to have the ability to change their children in a private space.
This new act comes as a reminder that as much as the 2016 Presidential Campaign makes us feel that the United States is going backwards, it is still a progressive nation.
You guys know me by now. I’m the happy-go-lucky funny guy who talks about fatherhood, potty training, and the general hilarity of being a dad. But every now and then I decide to ruffle some feathers and unleash a political rant. This is one of those times.
As usual, some of you will love what I have to say, and others won’t – but that comes with the territory of being an opinionated dude on the Internet.
So what am I here to talk about today?
Chances are you’re frustrated by “that friend,” “that coworker,” or “that relative” (unless you are that friend, coworker, or relative) who doesn’t understand why Black people are so upset with the state of America right now. And because they don’t understand, they will offer up lame arguments to discredit the emotions of Black Americans. My mission today is to poke holes in those arguments in a relatively tidy fashion.
What these armchair patriots fail to recognize is there are few things that are more American than doing what Colin Kaepernick and other athletes are doing. They are exercising their rights to protest American injustice in a peaceful way.
Yes, you have the right to disagree with these protests. But when you tell Kaepernick and others to “leave America“ because you disagree with how they protest, it makes you completely unAmerican. Thankfully his actions helped to spark a much-needed dialogue, and we should we welcome it.
In what universe does a police officer have the right to kill somebody for not listening or for being disrespectful? And if you happen to believe that argument, why does it only apply to Black people?
Two white Donald Trump supporters savagely beat up and urinated on a Mexican man in Boston and were taken alive by the police.
A white dude turns into a damn zombie, eats the faces of two people, and after a stun gun and police dogs couldn’t get him off of his victim, four officers teamed up to arrest him. You guessed it, he was taken alive by the police, too.
Hell, a terrorist injured 29 people in NYC and he was taken alive by the police.
Terence Crutcher (a black man and father of 4) was unarmed, driving home from college, had his hands up, and was shot and left to die by the police.
OK look, this isn’t complicated.
Unless you’re talking about the Smurfs, “Blue Lives” aren’t a real thing (and neither are the Smurfs). Unlike skin color, being a police officer is chosen.
Secondly, if you believe “All Lives Matter,” then nobody should be more pissed off than you by the unjust murders of Black people by the cops. But (predictably) when another black man is gunned down by the police, further demonstrating that Black lives DON’T matter, your outrage is nowhere to be found. Instead, you’ll offer up a bunch of “yeah, buts,” victim blaming, and silly memes about celebrity couples splitting up.
Of course there are. Any reasonable person knows that, and if you think I hate the police, you’re completely mistaken. I recently met LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck and he’s a wonderful man.
However, you’re not paying attention if you don’t understand why many Black people are mistrusting of the police in general (refer to Argument #2).
And do you know what’s truly scary? Being a police officer suddenly looks like a dream job for white supremacists. America has shown us that all you need is a badge and gun, and you can intimidate, harass, beat up, and kill brown and black people and receive a paid vacation afterwards. Hell, if I was a racist, I’d be filling out my application to join the police academy right now.
With that said, everyone is so quick to offer their .02 on what the Black community needs to do to improve, so how about we share what we need from the police? Let’s start with more accountability, better training, better vetting of applicants, and more good cops calling out the bad ones.
And in regard to the last point, props must be given to an Ohio Police Chief named Rodney Muterspaw who just spoke out against senseless police killings.
Because sadly, this is 100% about race, that’s why.
I’m an author, a proud dad, a keynote speaker, a brand ambassador, etc., but above all of that, I’m a Black man. There’s always that thought in the back of my mind that my life could end if I have an unfortunate incident with a police officer. Yes, I’ve had plenty of great experiences with police officers, but what if I happen to encounter that one cop who had a bad day? If you’re going to argue that race has nothing to do with it, then I have to just shake my head and walk away from you.
Doyin (pronounced “doe-ween”) Richards is a daddy, husband, author, and public speaker inspiring new mothers and fathers to think, laugh, and learn while evolving as parents and as people. Since creating his Daddy Doin’ Work blog in June 2012, it has rapidly grown to become one of the most popular daddy blogs in America with no signs of slowing down.
Richards is an in-demand spokesman on the topic of modern fatherhood. He has been interviewed by the TODAY Show, NPR, Katie Couric, USA Today, CNN, Parents Magazine, Yahoo!, Huffington Post Live, DL Hughley, Sunrise Australia, the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Better TV, and more.
Once upon a time, Tracy Morgan was just a raw comic from the Bronx who talked about impregnating entire rooms. America got to know his crazy style on Saturday Night Live, with characters like Brian Fellows (just a guy with 6th-grade education and abiding love for all God’s creatures). Morgan’s humor could be genius (he won an Emmy for his portrayal of barely-fictional Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock). It could be in poor taste, like the ill-advised 2011 homophobic rant. Or it could be even more ill-advised, like Cop Out. Then, in 2014 Morgan was in a car accident that left him in a coma. Scary times, but fortunately for the comedy world, he’s back, rebuilding his career, contrite about his past comments, and ready to be the type of dad who can never keep his shirt on. Here’s his collected wit and wisdom, dive into these Tracy Morgan quotes!
On When They Ask For A Dog
“I have snakes, 3 sharks, moray eels, piranhas, 5 scorpions and a bird spider. All of them are predators. They are dangerous but it’s cool to have strong and powerful pets.”
On Teaching Them About Diversity
“I have friends who are black, white, purple, gay, straight, Martian, yellow, old, and young. I have friends who are animals and a few who I believe to be robots. All of them are people to me. In my mind, it’s not about what you look like or what you do; it’s about who you are inside.”
On Looking Up To His Dad
“My father was the role model I looked up to. My dad was an entertainer, too. I patterned my life after him. He wanted me to do better than he did. He never sold a record in his life, but to me, he was still a rock star.”
On You’re Probably Messing Up Already
“Sometimes I think we’re exposed to things we shouldn’t be exposed to too early. I think that sets the tone to a person’s whole life. Trauma.”
On Morning Routines
“Having boys is different. Boys, you put sneakers on, and they’re out, they’re ready. Girls, you gotta pay a little bit more attention to them.”
“Cool is the enemy of funny. You can’t be cool and be funny at the same time. Only Eddie Murphy could do that.”
On Having “The Talk” With Your Kid
“I don’t believe in storks. I know they don’t deliver babies; they deliver pickles.”
On The IRS
“I got 5 kids – I claim 3 for income tax purposes.”
On Separating Public And Private Personas
“I have the person at home, the person who has his privacy, too. Michael Jackson didn’t do the moonwalk in his kitchen.”
On Dating Advice For Your Son
“If she’s not spoken for, and you come at her correctly, like a man, she’ll get with you.”
On His Artistic Legacy
“Most creative thing I’ve ever done? Got somebody pregnant.”
On Making Amends For His 2011 Rant
“No matter what, if my son was gay, I’d treat him like a king. I wasn’t trying to say that’s how I felt.”
On Moving Them Into Their First Apartment
“Anybody who’s lived in the ghetto knows that you don’t move during the daytime. Here’s why: You don’t want anyone to know you’re leaving, and you don’t want anyone knowing where you’re going.”
On Being Available
“I deal with my sons like young men. If they have a problem with something, they come to me. I am the type of dad that will drop everything I am doing for them, and always tell them to talk to me about it.”
More From Fatherly:
Singledadventures: The Question Is Not ‘Should,’ But ‘Why’ Are Fathers Receiving Praise For Doing Their Job?
I was perusing through one of the sites I write for yesterday, and I came across a headline and felt inclined to read. The author was inquiring whether or not fathers should receive praise for doing the basics as a parent. I thought it was an insightful read from a perspective that was different from my own.
Fatherhood is often assessed on the equivalent of a learning curve. Dads get excessive props for passing a test with a 65 as if it was a 100. It reminds me of when a high school my science teacher said with all of the conviction in the world “Chad is a solid B student,” as if that is something my mother and father should be proud of. This man with 30+ years of experience in education felt that if I worked to my potential I could be mediocre. That is how fatherhood-black fatherhood-is often perceived; many times by black mothers.
Advertisers have begun throwing dollars and campaigns at viewing fatherhood from a different light. There are commercials and digital content promoting dads doing fatherly things as if it is an anomaly. The question I would like to propose is “Why” as opposed to “Should” fathers receive the “potential to be a solid B student” treatment?
The patriarchs of television are often portrayed as bumbling idiots. With the exception of Heathcliff Huxtable and Danny Tanner, dads are seldom depicted as nurturing. There are many memes and such in which we are made fun as if we are the fun parents that do silly things. We don’t do hair, we leave our offspring to their own devices resulting in them getting into stuff they shouldn’t, or that we throw kids high in the air like we don’t know what we’re doing. Oh…and if you’re a father of color, you aren’t around and don’t pay child support *scratches the surface*.
While studies have reported otherwise-in which statistics mean nothing to the individual-how have so many experiences created this relatively collective paradigm? And why do we spend more time purporting instead of debunking it?
Read the full article at Singledadventures.
“Happy” is definitely a good word to describe musical genius Pharrell Williams. Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh are expecting their second baby according to People.com.
Helen’s baby bump was showing in her stylish Chanel sweater and skirt combo that she wore to N°5 L’EAU party for Chanel at the Sunset Tower hotel in West Hollywood recently.
The couple dated for many years, confirmed their engagement in July of 2013 and were married in October of 2013. The couple has one son Rocket Ayer Williams, 7. Pharrell even dedicated the sweetest lyric on the Despicable Me track “Rocket” to his son that said: “Since you were a thought/Floating around in our minds/We knew that you could teach us/The true meaning of life.”
It’s no surprise that the singer, songwriter, producer, designer and fashion icon was drawn to his wife. Helen is a creative force in her own right. The 36-year-old, who is a model and fashion designer has also been listed on numerous best-dressed lists.
Pharrell has previously talked about the benefits of being married to his best friend and told “Today Show” anchor Savannah Guthrie,: “The bestie thing is awesome. Every night is like a sleepover.” But he’s also talked about how hard he worked to get her. In a 2014 interview with Oprah Winfrey he said they started off as friends because she was in a relationship when they met. He told Oprah: “She didn’t answer half of my text messages (at first),’ and continued ‘Egotistically, no (that didn’t intrigue me).’ ‘I was like, “Oh yeah?” because I had that kind of money and because I had that kind of reach, I thought I was entitled and I had learned that no, she has a boyfriend and she’s not interested.’
After being friends for two years she became single again and Pharrell said: ‘I hurt her a lot in the very beginning once she was free and was available, because I had given her all of this attention but I wasn’t ready to like, let go (of his life as a bachelor)” He went on to say, “I looked at my life and I was like, “Man, I could keep doing this for another 10 years, is that what I want to do?” And so I made a decision. And then we made a decision and just started dating.’
In addition to family life, Pharrell is also using his creative energy and generous spirit to inspire and give back to young people. He established a 501 C3 Not For Profit called From One Hand To AnOTHER to provide educational S.T.E.A.M.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, and Motivation) related tools needed for the future success of children. According to their site the vision of the organization is to modernize the community center concept by empowering kids to learn through new technologies, arts, and media, offering free after school programs and Summer of Innovation camps.
Pharrell seems like someone who is humble, creative, and motivated and all of that energy will probably rub off on his little ones. He has been quoted saying, “The simplest way to say it is that I think we’re all dealt these cards in life, but the cards in and of themselves don’t read one way or the other. It’s up to you to hone in and cultivate whatever you’ve got in your hand.”
We are wishing the family all the best.
My daughter ran out of the classroom elated on her first day of kindergarten. After reintroducing me, Cydney’s teacher said with a smile “Cydney is very funny! She has a lot of personality. I’m going to have to stay on my toes with this one!” My mother and I both laughed because we knew what this educator was in for. With a smile and friendly chuckle, I responded “That sounds about right.”
That night, the parents of the kindergarten class were given a homework assignment. Cydney’s instructor wanted to get to know about her new students, to further understand and know how to cater to them. I made my little girl a part of the process, asking her how she would like to possibly answer some of these inquiries, such as: “What are some her favorite things to do?”
The last question asked if there is anything about my child that she, as a teacher, should be made aware of. Of course, I had to explain about my daughter’s mother passing away from cancer and that, depending on Cydney’s temperament, she may respond one of many ways and you’ll never know what will trigger it.
To begin this important time in the kids’ lives, Cydney’s teacher assigned a kindergarten project in which all of the students bring in pictures of their families while the rest of the class draw pictures of the stimuli standing in front of them. Of course, I added a photograph of my daughter and her mother. However, I knew there could or would be questions from her classmates.
While some may or may not have fathers in their lives, it is very difficult for a five-year-old to comprehend the concept of a child not having their mother. Kids have their mommies and Cydney Milner is always the one child who doesn’t. It’s a tough paradigm, but that is her reality and the only one she has ever known.
This past Friday was Cydney’s day to be the Star Student and present her family to her class. I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure of exactly what would happen that day. There wasn’t time to pull Cyd’s teacher aside, but I knew she was great teacher, so I didn’t (and couldn’t) fret.
When I picked my daughter up from school that afternoon, the teacher informed me that she wanted to speak to me for a moment. On a typical day, I would ask myself, “What did my child say to someone today?” but I knew she wanted to talk about the project handed in this morning.
The teacher let me know that exactly what I felt would happen, did. She wasn’t quite sure how to deal with the situation–Cydney not having a mother and talking about it in from of the class–and wanted to make sure that I was alright with how everything was handled. Telling me that she was a person of faith and wasn’t sure if Cydney and I were as well, she gave me a “temperature check.” When a child asked where my daughter’s mother is, Cyd confidently answered: “She’s not here.” I didn’t coach her on how to answer the question, she just knew what to say.
A follow-up question came along from the class, something along the lines of, “What do you mean?” and the teacher jumped in, saying, “She’s in heaven and is an angel watching over you, Cydney.” I was more than pleased with how everyone handled this.
She’s a veteran teacher and was highly-recommended by everyone. That’s why I wanted my daughter to have this teacher. We conversed for a moment and both agreed that this is difficult for little children to wrap their heads around, even if they know that people die and someone in their families has transitioned. I told the teacher that we have had a few instances like this in Pre-K, in which children that have known Cydney for years would still ask her, “Where is your mommy?” at birthday parties, because they simply forgot.
At five-and-a-half-years-old, my daughter has awareness beyond her age that seems like she’s lived on earth before. The truth is that some of her experiences have forced her cognitive development to be a little accelerated. Yet, in many other ways, she is just a regular kid who does and sees the world like all of the other kids her age. I often let her know that her circumstances are why she’s a star. My star.
I almost hate when my five-year-old daughter responds to me with “Actually…” It’s talk back. Truthfully, I think it’s kind of cute. However, I hear cute smugness and it makes me want to punish her or something.
A few weeks ago, between games of a baseball doubleheader I was coaching, I handed Cydney her lunch, and she inquired what was in the wrapping. My wonderful sunshine had asked me a bevy of questions before 12 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon I’d reached my limit for the day. I told her “A sandwich!”
“Actually, it’s a hero, daddy!” She quipped.
My head almost exploded. I briefly composed myself and told her in a tone that suggested ‘stop trying to correct me, damnit.’ I simply replied, “A hero is a kind of sandwich, Cydney.”
Without turning her head in my direction, one of the grandmother’s of a child on my team explained: “Children don’t mean to correct you. They’re just trying to show you they’re smart.” She wasn’t trying to stick her head in my business. The baseball team spends so much time together that the parents become family. Because of this, I was even more welcoming of the message this woman with more life experience conveyed.
In that moment, everything clicked. I expressed thanks for the insight and said: “I never thought about it like that.” She was right.
Adults often contextualize what children say and do with our knowledgeable paradigm. They are brilliant because they can learn to fluently speak languages by merely hearing them–and much more–based on observation. However, kids lack the practical contact with life that makes us as adults knowledgeable. It is a common misnomer to assume that a child’s response, like my daughter’s, to be undermining. That’s exactly what they would be doing if they were our peers.
Our children think we are greatest and smartest people on the planet. In their eyes, we can’t do any wrong (though this changes when they become teenagers and adults). Talking back and correcting is their attempt to impress us. They’re emulating what they see and are trying to show that they too have something to contribute.
One of the biggest lessons that I am trying to learn is that sometimes I need to let my children win. Because children are sponges, my daughter and nephew have picked up on my affinity of having a witty comeback for everything. It is endearing to hear the two of them go back and forth, and I’m especially proud of my girl for having the ability to shut down my 10-year-old boy. Nonetheless, when either try it in my direction, I tend to go the “your arms too short to box” approach. Deep down, both of my children know that they cannot win in a match of wits with me and I need to let them exercise a little more.
From a cognitive standpoint, my daughter’s affinity for asserting herself is positive. A brisk bon mot response is a sign of intelligence, and people gravitate towards people who think quickly on their toes. It has equipped her with a tool in which she can defend herself. Last Friday, the fourth day of school, Cyndey had a little “girl drama” with a fellow kindergartner in which my child was told the little girl no longer wanted to be her friend.
“You don’t need to be my friend, anymore. You can just be free and play by yourself,” my mini-me retorted. Truthful and hilarious, I was damn proud.
There’s isn’t much that could be cuter than seeing a father out with his daughter(s). That particular bond is especially important in the development of a young lady’s mindset and how she views men — from her adolescent to young adult years and for the rest of her life. Make sure that even if the little girl in your life isn’t your biological daughter, you’re setting a great example of what a good man is supposed to be. It’s never too early to start the teaching process and it easiest way to do so, is while out and about, treating your girl to one-on-one dates — just her and her daddy. Here are 15 ideas of where you guys should go.
Days With Daddy: 15 Father Daughter Dates
Yesterday, September 13, marks 20 years since the death of Tupac Shakur. After a day of penning posts about the slain rapper, I had parenting to do. I felt compelled to listen to Makaveli’s songs as I drove my nephew, his best friend, and my daughter to baseball practice.
Song after song played and the only person that was into it was me. “I Get Around” blared and I was the only one who cared. The next song to play was “California Love” and there was nary a head nod. I sometimes wake up with mysterious aches and pains, but being in a car with children who didn’t care at all that Tupac was playing was the first time I felt old.
I thought on that for about 30 seconds, but no longer cared and continued to rap all of the words to “Hail Mary,” making a conscious effort to censor my words accordingly.
I came to the realization that I am slowly evolving into my parents.
I was the same age as my nephew and his best friend when Tupac was shot down. Back then in New York City, my parents would never listen to hip-hop, and that was all I wanted to hear while they would shuttle my sister and I from place to place. The parentals just didn’t get the music and were more than content with listening to what I considered “old stuff.”
As children, we vow that we will never be like the people that made us. We know that we will get older, we think we’ll be the ones to stay in the know with all of the new stuff and our kids will think that we’re cool. However, time happens. Slowly but surely we hit a crossroads, look at what the youth are into, and act like I quote Danny Glover in “Lethal Weapon”: “I’m getting too old for this s***.”
My mother and father were–and still are–fairly hip people. They were the cool parents. They weren’t clueless about whatever my twin sister and I were into. As a teacher and musician, respectively, they found middle ground with me by unwaveringly being themselves, yet constantly reaching out to relate. For every complaint about how what I liked wasn’t music, they made me listen to their oldies and pointed out what songs they liked that were sampled in mine.
Somewhere between nature and nurture, this is me, as well. I’m a hip-hop head that constantly can put my kids up on whatever is new. I drop my daughter off to kindergarten with arms covered in tattoos, earrings in my ears, Jordans on my feet, and my hat worn backwards. We pull up at soccer and baseball games with 808’s rumbling from the speakers so that other children and parents know the stars have arrived. However, I refuse to do their silly dances and listen to more than one song by “Lil’ Nigglet” at a time…the two-step is always style and Tupac is way better (my parents feel the same way with regards to The Hustle and Earth, Wind and Fire).
My feeling old has absolutely nothing to do with it being 20 years since one of the most influential artists of my youth died. When he died, my mother told a similar story from 15 years prior about college students playing records in remembrance of John Lennon. The more things change, the more they stay the same. It’s much more fun being on the other side of the parenting coin. For all of the things I see my children are into, they borrow heavily from the ‘90’s and it all reminds me of a much simpler time.