All Articles Tagged "fatherhood"
Over the years, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade has taken a lot of hits off the court about his personal life, including his fight for custody of his children, the alleged way he treated his ex-wife and his current relationship with actress Gabrielle Union. Now, he’s finally ready to discuss it…well, a little bit.
In the June 2013 issue of Jet magazine, Dwyane Wade takes time to discuss his role as a father and in the midst of that, he reveals bits and pieces of what his relationship is like now with the boys’ – Zaire, age 11, and Zion, age 5 – mother, Siovaughn Funches:
Why he fought so hard for custody of his children:
“I didn’t set out to get full custody but I wasn’t able to see my kids the way I wanted and I’m not a parent who’s going to run away from his responsibilities. I was probably a terrible husband, but I pride myself on being a good dad.”
The state of his relationship now with Siovaughn:
“It’s been six years and hopefully one day she and I can get to the point where it’s a lot easier than it is now to co-parent.”
It should come as no surprise that they don’t get along: Funches allegedly claimed Wade gave her an STD and he’s allegedly called the police on her for not bringing their children back to him on time. The two were together for many years, since they were both teenagers, so there are likely some very hurt feelings still involved.
You can pick up the June 2013 issue of Jet when it hits newsstands May 27th.
If you thought you noticed some extra pep in your man’s step right after you gave birth, a new study suggests that you probably weren’t hallucinating. A recent report published in the Journal of Gender Studies found that new dads (especially those whose wives give birth early in the marriage) view themselves as more attractive than they did before the child was born.
“There’s a lot of attention paid to how women think about themselves – particularly their bodies and their physical attractiveness – after childbirth. But to our knowledge there’s been nothing that looked at men,” revealed the study’s lead author and professor at the University of California-Santa Barbara, Alicia Cast”
The data came as a result of a study conducted on 182 newlyweds with no previous children in an effort to analyze relationship dynamics during the first two years of a marriage. The average age of women participating in the study was 24.6 and the average age for men was 26.3. According to the Calgary Herald, data was collected at three different periods, which included at the beginning of the study, around the couple’s first year anniversary and around the couple’s second anniversary. Couples also underwent in person interviews, were required to submit daily diaries and answered questions regarding their “wellbeing.” Among those questions included probing about each individual spouse’s perception of their appearance. One question required participants to rate their appearance on a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being extremely unattractive and 100 being extremely attractive.
Men who didn’t have children remained fairly stable regarding their perception of attractiveness. Men who recently welcomed infants to their families, however, felt more attractive than they did previously.
“I was talking about this paper with my husband and he commented on the attention he got when he was seen in public holding our son after he was born. Like, ‘Aren’t you a good dad,’ ‘Look at that new dad with his baby,’ ” revealed cast.
“Women get that feedback, too, because everybody loves a new baby. But that (benefit) may be countered by other things she’s experiencing that he’s not, in terms of how her body has changed and being more physically tired,” she continued.
Cast also suggests that socially, babies serve as a sign of masculinity with men, which could have something to do with the confidence boost.
Did you notice that your man seemed a bit more confident after you gave birth?
‘I’m Like, I Cant Start Crying At The Dance:’ Diddy Talks Getting Emotional During Recent Father-Daughter Ball
Earlier this week, the adorable photos of Sean “Diddy” Combs and his adorable twin daughters D’Lila and Jessie, looking Easter Sunday sharp hit the web. The captions that accompanied the photos revealed that Diddy and his girls would be attending their first daddy-daughter dance, which Diddy revealed that he was totally excited about. The 43-year-old hip hop mogul recently paid a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he chatted it up about fatherhood and how it has changed him. Check out some of what he had to say below.
On relocating to Los Angeles to be closer to the kiddies:
“I’m officially bi-coastal… I moved out here here now. My son goes to UCLA, all my kids live out here now. I have six kids. Clap for my six kids and I would like for you to clap for me because I pay for all of their tuition. My oldest son [Quincy] works for my network, Revolt, and he’s an aspiring singer. My son below him, Justin, he is at UCLA red-shirted, so hopefully this year he will hit the field. And then I have a son, Christian, who is 14 and three girls who are 6, long story.”
On getting a bit teary-eyed during his first father-daughter dance:
“It was my first father-daughter dance with the twins. They are fun but they will wear you out and then it makes you go home and give your wife or the mother of your children a hug and a kiss and some money and a car or something. Like, I was looking at the clock and it’s like, you know, it starts at , and its like 7 o’clock and I’m looking at the clock and I’m worn out and I’m like ‘I don’t know how I am going to make it to 9 and they’re dancing like me times a hundred. If you thought I was dancing fast there, it’s like little girls are just screaming and jumping on your back and it’s just so intense.
It’s been a part of my evolution, I had my teary-eyed moment. I’m like, I can’t start crying at the dance, I don’t want to embarrass my daughters. I’m going through something right now that no money, no success or no accolades that I’ve gotten can ever measure up to being able to enjoy the beauty of my kids, especially my daughters.”
On the twins being a handful:
“It’s just a little bit harder trying to watch twins. And they’re identical twins so it’s just like … [points side-to-side]. And they don’t really stick together, they actually go opposite ways. So I’m just like running around.”
On how he’s changed since having children:
To be honest, I work very hard for my kids to enjoy a great life and I make no apologies for being able to provide them with experiences that I’ve worked hard to experience. For me, I’ve just started to grow up and it’s been a little late. When you grow up in entertainment and you’re not working on or not really following any rules, once you have kids, [that changes.] I think for me, it was having girls because the boys could fall down the stairs and everything is going to be alright but the girls, it’s like a whole different line of questioning and focus. It really just makes you face reality. It’s just been great for me.
One thing that’s difficult to deny is that Diddy loves his kiddies!
Peep part one of the interview below. Skip over to the next page for part two.
‘Having Nephews Is The Best Birth Control:’ Tahj Mowry Says He Won’t Be About That Baby Life Anytime Soon
The lovely ladies over at Sister 2 Sister recently caught up with one of Hollywood’s favorite little brothers, Tahj Mowry, just as he made his way down the red carpet at the ESSENCE Black Women In Music Event. When asked how seeing his sisters with his nephews has impacted his own desire for children, he gave a hilariously truthful response.
“Well, the marriage will definitely come before the baby, not just because that’s the way I want to do it. But, because my mom will beat my a**… I’m in no rush. I’m taking the steps. I got a girlfriend, so that’s good. I always joke with people that having nephews is the best birth control there is. And you know, the show I’m on, we have babies as well. So I’m constantly surrounded by babies and I do not want my own right now.”
“There’s something so great about playing with your nephew and then like, when you’re tired, you like hand him off back to your sister. ‘Here you go, mom!’ But. I’m a great uncle. I spoil them like crazy. I love being an uncle,” Tahj said.
I suppose he has his baby guru, parenting-advice slanging older sisters, Tia and Tamera, who each gave birth to baby boys within the past two years, to thank for that. Tahj’s response is humorous but, true. He seems to have a really good head on his shoulders. In case you’ve been wondering what he’s been up to, he currently has a role in the ABC Family sitcom, Baby Daddy. It’s so hard to believe that he’s the same little boy from 90′s sitcom, Smart Guy. He’s grown up nicely.
Check out the video of Tahj’s hilarious interview on the next page. What do you think of his response?
So you’ve been seeing this great guy for a few months and things seem to be getting serious. You start scribbling his last name with your first name (do people still do that?), envisioning your wedding day and picturing him cutting the umbilical cord. It’s only natural that if you want to get married one day you’ll eventually start sizing up your partner to see what kind of husband or father he’d make. While his little quirks might be cute when you’re dating, those same character traits might be red flags when determining if he’d make a good father to your child. For some, these may not be deal breakers and who knows if a man will change once faced with the responsibility of fatherhood. However, be careful not to overlook these characteristics if you’re thinking of making him your child’s father one day.
‘I Want Kids— Just Not Out Of Wedlock’: Laz Alonso Talks Love, Marriage and Fatherhood In The Latest Issue Of JET
It seems as if actor Laz Alonso gives us another reason to love him with each passing week. Not merely because he is amazingly attractive and intelligent, but also because it’s hard not to take notice of his great personality and the constant humility that he unknowingly exudes. Considering all of this, it seems quite fitting that the 38-year-old Washington D.C. native would cover the February issue of JET that will be hitting shelves just in time for Valentine’s Day. According to Necole Bitchie, he confesses in this issue that he doesn’t have a special lady to spend Valentine’s Day with this year. Flying solo for Vday wasn’t his only revelation though. He also discussed being considered a “heartthrob”, his desire to have children and what he looks for in a relationship. Check out what he had to say.
On being called a heartthrob:
“I don’t take it too seriously because looks fade. We all are going to get older and that whole heartthrob label will go to someone else… Regardless of how you look, the way you make a person feel, that’s eternal.”
“When dating somebody, I like to see them laugh and make the times we spend together more fun than they could ever imagine.”
“I want kids— just not out of wedlock… Because my father died when I was young, I’m extra cautious about not creating a single-parent home.”
It’s hard to deny that Laz has a pretty decent head on his shoulders and his desire to wait until marriage to have children is pretty admirable. Just last week he expressed how much of an inspiration Deception co-star Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin’s relationship has been to him. He even entertained the possibility of pursuing celibacy in his own life.
You can check out his full interview in JET‘s February issue when it hits shelves this coming Monday.
What do you think of Laz shying away from being labeled as a heartthrob?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
My father, like most, isn’t perfect. He’s a very reserved fella for the most part, and even when there’s a packed house full of folks stopping by his home to talk and catch up with him, he will have very little to say. He will say he’s listening, but for the most part, he’s trying to catch up on what the political pundits are talking about. If you have somewhere to go by a certain time, he’ll move at a snail’s pace unintentionally to take you there. He can be extraordinarily blunt about his thoughts and any questions he has for you: “Are you dating anyone yet? No? Well, are you looking in the right places?”
Yes, he can be a mess sometimes. My mother often agrees. While they’ve been together for more than 30 years, that doesn’t mean that their relationship is in its smooth sailing with a side of coasting phase. When they actually get along, they really get along well. But my parents still argue about money issues, about my father being inconsiderate, and a slew of other things that are half the reason I moved out soon after returning from college. And while my father was never vocal about their issues when I used to check in with him over the phone (remember how I said he is reserved?), my mom was the complete opposite when I was younger, and still is to this day. If you’ve got ears, she’s got a story to tell, and many of them have to do with the faults of my father.
“You know that your daddy ___.” From going on random trips and having an alleged affair affair, to being stingy with money, jealous, controlling, easily offended, distant, and straight up evil in her opinion at times, my mom has given me more information about my father over the years than I ever cared to know. And I don’t think she shares it to possibly turn me away from my father, but I think she does it because she gets frustrated, and because we’re close, sometimes she talks to me like I’m her girlfriend and forgets that I’m still her child–and he’s still my dad. As time has passed I’ve let her anecdotes roll off my back, but other times, I’ll be saddened by the information she gives me. Everyone has a specific image of who they think their parent is and how they are, and when someone pokes holes in that image, big holes sometimes, it can be extremely disappointing.
On TV, movies and even in real everyday life, I’ve watched people who were upset by the actions of a parent cut them off cold turkey, even if that parent’s actions didn’t directly affect them at all. I’ve even had co-workers say that if a parent cheats on their spouse, they’re cheating on the whole family. Maybe these parents were already failing in taking care or being there for their children in some way, but many people let the bad choices a father makes in his relationship with his wife have an effect on they view them as a father. To each his own.
But for all the faults that have been exposed about the man I call my father, there have just been too many sacrifices, too much support, too much advice and too much love given to me to look down at my father with anger, resentment or sadness. Maybe that’s why I often have to tune my mom out when she decides to share her latest issue with my dad with me. While I know my father could do better when it comes to fixing the issues within his relationship with my mom, it’s not really my business to get involved. Plus, my mother has decided to stay year after year and take both the good and the bad, so she knows what she’s dealing with. And besides, after years of watching them both bicker and be equally irrational at times, I’m not interested in taking anybody’s side.
While some might stop talking to their fathers because of their marital choices, pops doesn’t have to explain all of his choices to me, he just needs to be my father. And in all honesty, he’s done a pretty great job at that as far back as I can remember. He’s put me through school, kept me safe, helped me with my homework even when he was painfully tired after work, allowed me the opportunity to travel the world, talked me about things I wasn’t sure who to turn to about, encouraged and supported my professional endeavors and cried with me at times when I thought he couldn’t be emotionally open. So no, my dad’s not perfect, and he’s not the perfect husband by any means. He’s even acknowledged that he hopes his daughter’s can find men who can treat them better than he treated my mother in the past. But I never asked my dad to be perfect and I don’t expect him to be. However, he’s been there and that’s all I really can really ask for. The rest? Hey, my nickname is Bennet, and I ain’t trying to be in it.
Discussions on child support and parenthood normally revolve around the fathers who aren’t paying or being a part of their kids lives, but we can’t ignore the unfortunate reality that some men out here get got, plain and simple.
No, I’m not talking about Meek Mill’s definition of being played because he randomly gave the mother of his child cash to take care of some things and still expects to be slapped with a court order for child support on top of it. I’m speaking on women who perhaps know a child isn’t a particular man’s, or at the very least are uncertain of their child’s paternity, yet aren’t upfront about that uncertainty and allow men to raise or provide for their child unaware of those doubts.
It’s hard to say how often these situations occur, but whenever I hear a case of a man finding out years down the line that he actually isn’t the father of a child whose life he’s been involved in, my immediate reaction is why didn’t he just get a paternity test? But as I relayed that same reaction to people today when discussing Ne-Yo’s Behind The Music special, I realized demanding a paternity test likely isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Over the weekend, Ne-Yo’s Behind The Music special aired on VH1 and the network got to the bottom of a paternity situation many probably never even knew existed. When the singer first signed to Def Jam, he was apparently involved with a woman named Jessica who became pregnant with what he thought was his child. Years later, he found out that wasn’t the case, telling VH1:
“Jessica called me, balling crying. I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ And all she could say is, ‘He’s not yours, he’s not yours.’ She just kept saying it over and over and over again, to the point where I dropped the phone. Chimere’s not mine. That hurt ’cause I had attached myself to this guy, you know. This is my son. I’m looking at him and I’m picturing I’m gonna be old, and he’s gonna be — this is my son! It’s not my son…. I didn’t care who the father was. In my mind, I was still Chimere’s father. I was there when he was born. I saw him when he first came out. I held him. He was my kid.”
One could look at this as an innocent mistake – as innocence as not knowing who the father of your child can be considered — but the next details that follow make this mix-up seem a bit more calculated. Ne-Yo told cameras:
“In the state of California if you put yourself out there as the father, the mother can then come after you in court like you’re the biological father so we settled out of court for what I thought was an ungodly amount of money. Shortly after that Jessica and Chimere vanished. [So you're not in touch with him now?] No. Nope.”
I’m sure in Ne-Yo’s mind, losing the money was secondary to losing his first son – biological or not, but I can’t help but think could a paternity test much earlier on have prevented all of this hurt, or at least lessoned the blow? From the way the story was told, it seemed Ne-Yo got a paternity test at his mother’s urging. She puts me in the mind of Usher’s mother, Jonetta, when she said on the special:
“I strongly felt that she was not the right person for my son. I had suspicions immediately.[...]In the back of my mind I’m kind of keeping score and checking things off and then of course when the time came for me to put in my two cents, I gave a couple [of] bucks.”
There’s obviously a step here before paternity tests, which is knowing who you’re sleeping with – particularly unprotected — but it seems Ne-Yo did think he knew this woman. He claimed her as a girlfriend, although according to his sister things moved between the couple at a much faster pace than she approved of, saying, “One month he was calling saying, ‘Oh, I’m dating this woman,’ and then the next month it was, ‘Oh, we’re going to get a place together.’” Clearly the next month or two later it was “Oh, she’s pregnant,” but the question is, can you ask a girlfriend to get a paternity test?
Most women would say no, likely in unison, as the ladies I questioned today did. I hypothetically posed this scenario to a few women who said they would act a monkey fool if a man ever asked them to get a paternity test. I, on the other hand, am not quite as adamant about the foulness of that request. I would certainly be somewhat offended and admittedly beside myself if a man I was in a committed relationship with responded to my announcement of my pregnancy with something along the lines of, “I need a pregnancy test to know it’s mine.” But if a man and I were careless early on in our sexual relationship and found ourselves unexpectedly pregnant, I couldn’t be totally mad at his request. And truthfully, I’d prefer we get any paternal doubts out and settled sooner rather than later. If concerns over how involved a man was going to be in my child’s life ever hinged on questions about who the dad was, I’d rather take the loss to my ego and put his mind at rest, with the assurance that once a test revealed 99.9999999% assurance he was the dad, he needed to be ready to fulfill his expectation to the utmost degree. I can’t quite imagine how that conversation would go and how I’d keep my hurt feelings in check but I don’t think men should always be expected to blindly follow a woman’s word into the world of paternity. I believe there is a right way to request proof of paternity, I’m just not completely sure what that is.
How would you react if a man demanded you get a paternity test to prove he’s the father of your child? What do you think is the best way to handle these situations?
*Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
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A couple of weeks ago I, along with the rest of the country, tuned in to watch the Democratic National Convention. In addition to the speeches, peeping what Michelle was wearing and the “surprise” celebrity appearances, there was one other moment that stayed with me. It was the moment where Joe Biden’s son, Joseph Biden III (Beau), nominated his father for the office of Vice President. If you just so happened to miss the moment, know that by the end of the speech when Beau called his father “his hero,” Joe was wiping away tears and so was I.
You may remember that Joe Biden has a particularly special relationship with his sons Beau and Robert. He almost lost the both of them in a car accident that claimed the lives of his wife and one year old daughter. For years, Joe was a politician and single father, raising two boys while balancing a career. He was sworn in as a senator from the side of their hospital beds and as he advanced further in his career, he developed the practice of dropping everything and leaving work when one of his sons called him.
I don’t know Joe Biden’s life or anything; but I’d argue that this tragedy forced him to step up as a father, in ways that would have never happened if this tragedy had never occurred. Which got me thinking about the number of fathers who miss out on being as involved as they could be in their child’s life; not because they’ve made a conscious decision not to be, but because our society is set up in such a way that basically tells a man the crux of being a good father is more about bringing home the proverbial bacon instead of just being there.
At work the other day, my coworker was telling me about a man she knew who had to leave work quite a bit to attend to the needs of his children. This man was married but he took the initiative to leave work for the kids. You would think this would be a non-issue since women, you know, do it all the time; but it was a problem. So much so that his boss eventually confronted him, accusing him of using his kids as an excuse to leave work.
A shame that the thought of a father leaving work for his children is so unbelievable, he’s got to be lying. Men, by society’s standards, just aren’t supposed to be that invested in the rearing of their children.
And I’m not just talking about the men in our society holding on to these beliefs. We women are guilty of this type of thinking too. Many of us followed the very public custody battle between Tameka and Usher Raymond. After the ruling, I was one of the first people claiming that Tameka had to be truly crazy not to be granted custody. But even that sentiment is insulting to fathers. Is it so hard to believe that whether Tameka is crazy or not, Usher, as a man, just might have been the better parent?
I had to check myself. But I know I’m not the only one holding on to these sexiest ideals. There have been times where I’ve seen women dismiss or deride the efforts of a man attempting to care for his own children. She’ll shoo him away with a “That’s not right,” or an“I’ll just do it.” Sure, I’ll admit that mothers have a bit of an advantage caring for their children, considering they lived inside of them for 9 months; but I know from intense observation of new parents, that a lot of initial learning how to raise a child comes from trial and error. Why not give the man, your man, your child’s father [presumably] that same opportunity to learn? There are so many women who wish they had a man to help them out, why not take advantage, not only for yourself but for the bonding it’ll allow him to develop with your child?
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard women scoff after learning that so-so’s husband was a stay at home dad. Would these same women scoff this way at a mother who’d elected to stay at home? Probably not. When it’s a woman we’re more likely to acknowledge the work she has to put in to raise her children; but when it’s a man, surely he’s only a stay at home dad because he’s too lazy to work or completely incompetent as a provider. Now, I know money is important; we all have to eat, but what better way to provide for your children than to be there to make breakfast for them in the morning, to play with them during the day and to tuck them into bed at night? I guarantee you, as the child of a great father, those emotional, psychological provisions are what your child is going to remember, not the heap of toys he/she received for Christmas that one year.
We’re always begging men to step up, complaining about the prevalence of deadbeat, absentee fathers. There are plenty of them; but when there are men who are stepping up, are taking the initiative to care for their children, just like women have been and continue to do, let’s not look down on them or judge them unfairly because of it.
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If you are a devoted, single parent who has found time to date, then kudos to you! In the midst of being swept off your feet and newly in love, you may be excited…and anxious…to introduce your guy to your child(ren). After all, it makes sense for you to want your children to meet someone who has become an important part of your life – either to seal the deal and affirm your love, or make you take a step back from someone who may not be a fit. If you’re wondering about when and how you should bring this new person into your child’s life, consider these things before making that all important introduction.