If I Had A Father
“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”
A new school year has started and the process of education is important once
again in this nations schools. The educational system of this country is at a cross
roads between continuing to be re-actional to the changes in society or proactive
to saving youth from lives of poverty, unemployment and the media expectations
of youth dropping out of school and becoming a part of a criminal justice system.
What can be done to change the direction potential educational failures and societal
rebellion of youth?
If I Had A Father; represents a dynamic of the involvement of fathers in children
lives. This is not a specific cultural challenge it is a national goal to have fathers
involved in their children’s education. History and society judges fathers by the
behavior of their children, the choices children make in life and the outcomes.
A father posses historical significance and importance in the shaping and molding
of young minds, guiding emotions and influencing generational success, struggles,
failures and even death. What could be worse than a physical death; the emotional
death of children that a father does not care, does not understand and witnessing a
father disrespect the mother that brought them into the world. Fathers must establish
a foundation for a relationship with their children. An understanding with fathers for
interaction that grows from love, discipline, consistent involvement and respect.
Fatherhood does not automatically mean that a man is going to be a responsible parent.
A man has to want to be a responsible father, there is more to child rearing than
creating a child, impregnating a woman or being a sperm donor.
“…parents must keep reminding their children about how important they are.”
Fathers set the foundation for excellence, raise the expectations that children
are smart, intelligent and worth educating. Teach children that success is not
always making big sums of money, driving fancy cars or wearing expensive
clothes. Success also means obtaining a quality education to provide for self and
one day family; Education is the key to continued self growth and reliability on
skills/talents and not dependent on the government to provide. The Bible says in
Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Fathers guard
your children away from negativity and ignorance and guided them to knowledge
of their individual talents, skills and abilities. Malcolm X stated as it applies to
the 21st century, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to
the people who prepare for it today.” Fathers remember your children will not
stay children forever so fathers/daddies must help prepare their children for the
Boardrooms, Courtrooms, Classrooms, Conference rooms, Presidential rooms,
Mayoral rooms, Senatorial rooms and Surgical rooms of this country and world.
In these economic turbulent times stated by Bob Wise, President of the Alliance
for Excellent Education, “The best economic stimulus package is a diploma,”
fathers make a difference in the direction their children will take in school.
If I had A Father
Has become both an excuse and reason for failure for children. The lack of a
father is more of a death sentence for fathers that are not involved because their
children will execute them from their lives emotionally, psychologically and
socially. A father that does not value his children is a man that creates damnation
on his family history and heritage. Children are
incarcerated mentally, jailed socially and emotionally blaming their life
circumstances on “If I Had A Father.” The darkest depths of loneliness in a child’s
heart because their father was not there for them. Having experienced this myself,
the only way I survived this emotional death, this potential inner self destruction
was to build myself up to try and be a good father for my children. Even though
divorced, I did not divorce my children; I did not divorce my responsibilities to my
son and daughter I did not commit fathercide to my children by leaving them.
Fathers Impact of Involvement
Fathers, Daddies, Stepfathers need to be involved in their children’s lives,
spending more time with children will help keep children from dropping out
of school, engaging in multiple sex partners and experimenting with drugs.
Research from the University of Maryland (2000) indicates that, “children who
have fathers or father figures in their lives learn better, have higher self-esteem and
show fewer signs of depression”.
Fathers affect discipline, academic achievement, and social relationships in a child’s
educational environment. “…children who identified a father or father figure scored
higher on basic learning skill tests and had a stronger sense of competence and social
acceptance compared to children without fathers” (University of Maryland Medical
News, 2000). Culturally ALL races are equally affected by the presence and absence
of fathers in children’s lives. This is not just a Black, Hispanic or other cultural issue.
JCCI Study and E3 Forums
JCCI (Jacksonville Community Council Inc.) study shows the affects of absence
fathers in children’s lives and it’s impact on infant mortality, educational success and
poverty levels of children. The statistical evidence that the absence of responsible
and mature fathers contributes to continued poverty of children, increase involvement
of juveniles in criminal behavior, increased dropout rates among school age youth,
and infant mortality rates similar to that of third world nations JCCI – http://www.jcci.org/
The recent E3 Business Group Infant Mortality Making It Real and discussions about
the fathers responsibility. These dialogues play an important part of the openness and
honesty that needs to be displayed. http://www.youtube.com/user/e3businessgroup
Listen to the discussions from community members about fathers.
History and Heritage
Fathers your history, your heritage and your future presence either positive or negative
rests within your commitment to be a real father. No one can make you do what you
should do as a father. It is a responsibility that is only accountable through the efforts
that you make. Fathers, consider if your children can afford for you not to be involved,
will their potential be missed, the course of their destinies missed because they were
without your guidance and wisdom?
A truly humble man is sensible of his natural distance from God; of his dependence on Him;
of the insufficiency of his own power and wisdom; and that it is by God’s power that he is
upheld and provided for, and that he needs God’s wisdom to lead and guide him, and His
might to enable him to do what he ought to do for Him. Edwards, Jonathan
Million Father March
A great quote by Dr. Eugene White, Superintendent over the Indianapolis Public School
District stated, ”Fathers, take your children to school on the first day and don’t stop there.
Become active in the education of your children all year long.’ Fathers across the country
read these words, “All men, regardless of the skin you might be in, but especially Black men,
can improve low-performing schools, increase graduations rated, lower jail sentences by
getting involved in the education of their children.” If I Had A Father
should not come out of the mouths of any child, they should not feel lost, forsaken or
Fathers, get involved, get active and get where you belong, with your children.
William Jackson, M.Ed.
My Quest To Teach