All Articles Tagged "fatherhood"

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

January 22nd, 2016 - By Chuck Creekmur
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thinkstock.com

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.

Moments That Proved That 2015 Was The Year Of Celebrity Dads

December 30th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Instagram

Image Source: Instagram

From Barack Obama’s “dad jokes” to Iman Shumpert’s surprise home delivery, these famous fathers proved that celebrity dads won 2015.

50 Cent And Shaniqua Tompkins Go To War – Again!

December 21st, 2015 - By Chuck Creekmur
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50 Cent Teams Up With FOX

Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN

By Chuck Creekmur

50 Cent and Shaniqua Tompkins are probably never going to be cordial, much less co-parent. I don’t believe I have ever witnessed a clashing of parents that has played out so publicly with so much vitriol. They have been at odds over their son Marquise Jackson for quite some time and now 50 has absolutely nothing to do with his first born. However, he must be on his mind, because he posted a picture on Instagram of himself with a younger Marquise.

50 Cent is one of the biggest, baddest names in hip-hop, but I cannot fathom having such a relationship with my first born. Especially a son. Now, I know he’s got another son – and he set out to do just that – but there is nothing like your first born. As I alluded to, it would seem like 50 wants a relationship with his kid, but doesn’t quite know how to forge it after all that’s been said and done over the years. Shaniqua is the real object of his scorn, even though he’s said some nasty things to the kid. My advice? Counseling. It can help if the parties are willing to go through the process of healing. The only thing is, these are deep wounds and Shaniqua wasn’t having it on social media.

When he posted the picture, Shaniqua went ballistic in a post of epic proportions. Then, 50 Cent took the whole image down. But nothing is ever really deleted on the internet, right?

screen-shot-2015-12-20-at-3-17-38-pm

That didn’t stop anything, because Shaniqua’s #clapback was sent directly to us. Here it is below:

When you post something and delete it shows how much Of a coward you are !! @50cent I know you and know your tactics! I appreciate it ,because the judge will get to see how much of a bully you are. Take accountability for your actions! You don’t have a relationship with my child because you choose not to, you want to bully him, threaten him and talk about his mother in a disparaging manner. I don’t try to mentally abuse my son like you do! I don’t talk about you, your actions speaks themselves. Who threatens to shoot their son on Instagram ? I don’t have to talk about you, again your actions speaks for themselves !Bitter? About what ? I left you!!! I know longer wanted a relationship with you! You’re a fraud and you’re upset I know it ! You created this fictitious character and you try to discredit me because I know the real! I know you made up you got shot 9 times and it was actually 5 because you didn’t want to be compared to Tupac! Remember I was there! I went with you to the police percent to get an order of protection out if Ja Rule, irvGotti and his brother Chris . So please stop! I know you are jealous because, Marquise has a mother that actually cares and loves him and you never had that. You always lived with your Grandparents even when your Mom was alive! I’m not one to ruin someones grandiose idea of themselves but keep my name out your mouth! I will keep posting Boo vs. 50 cent facts I have receipts! #CB4 you are not God, maybe to others but not me!!!

Marquise seems to be handling all the drama well. He has been doing the rounds on various red carpets and doesn’t seem too concerned with how many times his daddy got shot. He is working on music and hopes to act. However, it does seem interesting that some of the legend 50 has owned for so long may have some more facts to it from somebody that was there, right? Comparing 50 to the Chris Rock movie CB4 is a strong, potentially damning statement from somebody that was there from the start.

For the record, AllHipHop.com interviewed 50 Cent year ago and asked him to address the rumors that he had not been shot nine times. He offered the following:

UPDATE from allhiphop.com:
After the story exploded on the internet over the weekend, 50 returned to IG with a new pic this morning. The latest photo was of his other son, but it seemed to include a message to Tompkins and anyone else that had something to say about the back-and-forth between the two parents. He deflected from the entire ordeal by focusing on the holiday season.

50 posted, “What the fu😳k are these people talking about, we going shopping it’s CHRISTMAS. LOL”

https://www.instagram.com/p/_jD_EgsLyd/?taken-by=50cent

Watch This Sweet Video Of Chris Brown And Daughter Royalty For His Song “Little More”

December 18th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Chris Brown Little More video

Chris Brown and daughter, Instagram

Royalty is the Chris Brown album named for his one-year-old daughter, so it’s only right that the sweet little girls is featured in the visuals for his latest single, “Little More.”

The video begins really dark and sorted, like so dark that we had to check if we were watching the right clip. As Breezy lays his head down to sleep, ghosts from the past (with visuals from his previous videos) haunt his dreams. But thank goodness he wakes up to the sight of his daughter Royalty, and the playful, bright and adorable scene is set.

A photo posted by @chrisbrownofficial on

It’s gushy and heartwarming to see Chris and his mini-me playing peek-a-boo, blowing bubbles, sipping tea and just running around the house.

 “Girl you got this heartlock on me, I don’t think that I can control it.”

We love this cute father-daughter video, check out the delicious reel for “Little More” below.

Why Do Parents Dress Their Kids In Ridiculous Costumes On Halloween?

November 2nd, 2015 - By Chuck Creekmur
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

I’m a big kid at heart, despite my reputation as a genius, billionaire, playboy and philanthropist. Laugh if you will, but I’ve always been into comic books, creativity, day dreaming and other forms of self-generated, introverted mental stimulation.

So, I have always been fond of the great pagan holiday Halloween, because it allows me to dress up as something cool and also see children express their creative, all for a couple pieces of diabetes inducing treats. I get it. This year I was The Incredible Hulk and I committed to the character by tearing up some old clothing I could have donated to somebody in need. But, I wanted to go in. Dedication.

As I perused over social media, I noticed that other parents were committed in other ways with their kids. I saw a number of “costumes” that were inappropriate, ignorant and dumb, however entertaining they came across on the Facebook feed. The one that drove me over the edge was a parent that dressed kids up as Kevin Hart and his fiancée Eniko Parrish. In the original image of celebrity couple, they are dressed up with Eniko in a plunging neckline. The parents replicated the picture and dress the girl with cleavage to have her look as much like Eniko as possible.

Cleavage, fam? And since when was Kevin Hart and his fiancée worthy of a Halloween costume anyway? I’ll answer that in a bit.

That wasn’t the only one. I and others griped about the mass movement (there were several) to dress kids up like Cookie of the hit show “Empire.” I saw small children dressed up as Niggaz With Attitude – N.W.A. Nice. I also saw others that were less offensive, but just dumb. Ok, so I chuckled at Lil’ Katt Williams, but why? Are you not entertained?

Sexualizing kids. What the hell is wrong with parents? Kids don’t even know who they are dressing up as. And if they do, that’s an even bigger issue. This means, there’s a double wrong happening. If your children watch “Empire,” Katt Williams specials or listen to N.W.A. we have a major issue. So why do it?

katt william halloween costume

Social media. Attention. I can only assume that a parent, being a fan of Kevin Hart, dresses their kids like him in hopes that he/she will get noticed by the super star  comedian. Then, Kevin retweets to millions of follows and viral sensation ensues. Right? The kids are now famous! Yay. Perhaps I am taking this too far. Maybe not. This is how people are raising their kids and we wonder why our communities are messed up. Historically, Black parents would pull out a switch if their kids did some dumb mess like that, but now today’s parents are the ones perpetuating it. Low values. No self-respect. Whoring for attention. At any cost.

Grow up. Let kids be kids. Join in on the fun. Part of the reason why I like Halloween so much is because I fondly remember making my costumes with my dad, the creative king of that era. My brother, my dad and me. One year I was Super Chucky. And we made a sword, a shield and armor. I was my own super hero. Who are the heroes now? Cookie? Sure, I didn’t see any “Cookies” as I gave out candy this year (which I have not done in over a decade, because I generally refuse to contribute to the sugar addiction that ravages our communities), but social media pushed me to see plenty of inappropriate costumes.

While it may not be an epidemic, its definitely problematic. Why? Because nobody thinks there’s anything wrong.

How many ridiculous costumes did you see this year?

What It’s Like To Be A Single Dad To An 8-Year-Old Daughter

October 20th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Yahoo Parenting

Yahoo Parenting

by Jennifer O’Neill, Yahoo Parenting

Full-custody single dads are a growing group, with 24 percent of single-parent homes headed up by fathers — a ninefold increase since 1960,according to the Pew Research Center. But living that reality can still feel pretty lonely for the man managing everything for his family solo.

To find out what it’s like to be a single dad, the folks at Yahoo Parenting sat down with 42-year-old Ian. He has been raising daughter Lana, 8, on his own in Los Angeles for the past five years — dealing with everything from awkward all-mother playdates to his own dating (or lack thereof).

“When people find out I have full custody of my daughter, it’s like I’m from Mars,” says Ian, who preferred not to share his last name, during his on-camera interview with Yahoo Parenting. “But when it happens, you just kind of do a gut check: Saddle up, I’m all in. Easier said than done, but [she’s] my priority, and so that’s what I do.”


VIDEO

Lana, now in third grade, was just 3 when Ian and Lana’s mother split after seven years together. A year later, the dad was granted full custody. “She’s got a bond with her mom that nothing will ever break up,” he insists of his little girl, who has weekly daytime visits with her mother. Yet for all intents and purposes, the TV industry professional is raising Lana, with the help of a nanny.

One of the biggest learning curves he’s experienced through raising a girl has been “the realization that she is sensitive or emotional in ways that I would not have expected.” Not a naturally gentle communicator, he explains, “I really had to take notice … that my tone matters more than anything when I speak to her.” Then there’s her gravitation toward “girly girl” toys and activities.

He doesn’t share her passion for shopping, either, but when it comes to styling his daughter’s hair, this dad embraces every opportunity. “It’s a moment where you get to be close,” he says. “She can focus on something else, but I’m still getting what I consider intimate time with her. We talk about how to do this, or if there’s a better way, or can she do this better? I kind of like it.”

The duo has been bra shopping together, yet Ian admits, “I’m not looking forward to tampons or maxi pads. My strategy with that — I think I’ve got a year? — is that I’m going to buy a variety pack.”

Sweet dad.

Read the full story here.

Pop Mom Daily: Men On Balancing Work And Fatherhood

October 14th, 2015 - By Erickka Sy Savane
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WENN.com

WENN

When asked how she balances her extremely successful TV career with motherhood, writer, producer and mom of three, Shonda Rhimes, took the opportunity to raise a valid point. “Nobody ever asks a man how they do it all.”

She went on to say that by only asking women we’re not being gender equal. She’s right in that it’s a question that I ask working mothers all the time, but not once had I ever thought to ask a man. I assume that he has a wife at home who takes care of the kids. I also assume that men don’t have the same conflict being away from home that we women do.

But is that true? Just because men have the traditional role of being providers does it mean that they don’t care about being at home? Is balancing work and fatherhood as important to them?

I posed the question of balance to a few working fathers and got some interesting answers:

Chris, a busy stage manager in Los Angeles and father of twin boys, says that while working away from home wasn’t a big deal when his boys were babies. Now that they’re two-years-old and developing their personalities, it’s hard for him to leave. As it stands, he works five or six days a week and usually only has one day off.

Balance is important.

“I have three commitments. Myself, my wife and my kids. All deserve time so you gotta work it out.”

He works it out by scheduling his day off with time for himself, which usually includes early morning golf, and time with the boys. Some days he takes the boys with him and kills two birds with one stone, so to speak. Date nights get scheduled too. He says, “When the man is the breadwinner there’s no built-in system in place to make sure you’re okay so you have to schedule your life, and remind yourself to take time for you.”

For Harold, a FedEx worker and father of two, finding balance meant taking a job that pays him less, but allows him to be home in the mornings and early afternoons. “I cherish the time with my kids because I believe they make me a better person. Hopefully, my daughter will find a guy like her dad…she sees me cook and clean and go to work, I take her to school everyday. It’s really a great feeling because I know one day she won’t want to be seen with me.”

Awe.

He adds that he wouldn’t be able to strike such a balance without a loving mate who compliments and enhances the whole process. “It helps greatly to have your kids living with you and your mate.” Harold has been with his wife 11 years and married for four.

If there’s anything we working moms know it’s that it helps to have help.

Louis, a lawyer and dad, recognizes that the only way he’s been able to juggle the constant demands between work and family is through having both his parents and mother-in-law nearby. He also discovered that once he accepted that there will be times when he will have to prioritize work over family, it doesn’t mean that he is establishing work as an absolute priority. “I was able to let go of a lot of the stress and guilt surrounding such moments which actually makes it easier when I have to decide how to deal with conflicts.”

Drop the mic.

Even though men don’t talk about it, they care a lot about the time they spend working away from home. Seeing the thought and effort that goes into the balancing act that they perform in order to make it work, is eye opening.

Admittedly, I’ve spent a lot of time in the past resenting my husband for ‘escaping’ to work while I spent my time at home ‘stuck’ with the kids. It wasn’t until I took a job that barely allowed me to see them that I was able to appreciate being at home and experiencing the little things. It’s comforting to know that men want to experience these things too. But they do have to work. And so do we. Maybe we can work together more.

Erickka Sy Savané is a freelance writer and creator of THE BREW, a social commentary blog. Before that she was a model/actress/MTV VJ. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Pop Mom Daily: Are We Unfairly Knocking Mathew Knowles’ Hustle?

October 12th, 2015 - By Erickka Sy Savane
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Mathew Knowles

Source: WENN

“The Entertainment Industry: How Do I Get In?”

Good question. And it’s one that record exec and father to the world’s biggest pop star, Mathew Knowles, aka Beyonce’s dad, seeks to answer in a boot camp of the same name geared towards entertainment industry hopefuls on October 24 at the Hobby Center in Houston, Texas. Once the mastermind behind powerhouse R&B group Destiny’s Child who sold an estimated 60 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful singing groups of all time, he would seem the perfect person to answer this question.

Let’s face it, he started grooming lil’ B into the Queen we know today from the time she was a kid. Even sister Solange has built a notable career as a singer and fashionista in her own right. But some are saying it’s just his latest attempt to further mooch off of his daughter’s fame. Really? Can you mooch off of something that you created?

Is Mr. Knowles being unfairly judged?

First, let’s look at his fall from grace. Word is he cheated on Beyonce’s mom Tina while they were still married and fathered a baby with his side chick. There are also rumors that he was stealing money.

Stealing money? When it comes to parents and their kid’s money is it really stealing? I dip into my kid’s piggy bank all the time when I’m low on funds. Sometimes I give it back. Sometimes I don’t. The way I see it, what’s mine is theirs and what’s theirs is mine. Now these lines could get a little blurrier when millions of dollars are at stake, but surely something could be worked out. If that was indeed the case.

Now back to his cheating, not to condone what he did, but do we really know what the relationship was like between him and Tina all those years? Most of us have no idea what entertainment industry parenting does to a couple. Maybe he and Tina both got caught up and lost the spark that brought them together in the first place. Maybe they drifted apart. What we do know is this mother and father both worked their asses off for their kids to enjoy the level of success they do today. It took planning, hard work and vision.

Obviously, Mr. Knowles isn’t perfect. As a shrewd businessman who will cut a weak link out of Destiny’s Child quicker than an axe murderer, he probably isn’t Mr. Cuddly half the time. Beyonce even said as much to Oprah a few years ago during her exclusive interview: “When you’re trying to have an everyday conversation with your family you have to talk about scheduling and you have to talk about your album and performing and touring. It’s just too stressful and it really affects your relationship…. I wanted my dad.”

Hey, we get it. Child stars move on from their parent’s management all the time. Janet Jackson and Usher did it. There comes a time when you know you got this. But Joe Jackson will always be Joe Jackson, father and mastermind behind all of the Jacksons, and Mathew Knowles deserves some respect too. He should be able to talk about Beyonce, his greatest accomplishment in the entertainment business, and make his money, without all the flack. Personal family issues aside, he earned it.

Are you knocking Mathew Knowles’ hustle?

Erickka Sy Savané is a freelance writer and creator of THE BREW, a social commentary blog. Before that she was a model/actress/MTV VJ. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

What Men Learn About Women While Raising Daughters

October 6th, 2015 - 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.

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