Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads out there! Today is certainly a day to celebrate the many blessings that dads bring to their children as well as those blessings that they bring to us! Children and wives are what drive most fathers in their desire to succeed and thereby not only provide for, but to the extent we’re able to, “spoil” both our wives (or girlfriends) and children.
To you single dads who live in abject poverty due to a “child support” (aka mommy support) order, please consider what follows. I realize that because of the large sums of money that are extorted from you on a weekly basis, that many of you can’t afford to provide even basic necessities for your children. And the reason you can’t, is because you’re literally poor from paying ridiculously high amounts of “child support.”
To those of you whom that resonates with, it’s imperative that you don’t shame yourselves nor think of yourselves as any less of a father due to your poverty, because you are not. How well we parent, how we’re viewed as fathers, and how much we love our children is not in any way defined by our incomes, possessions, or wealth. Rather, it’s defined by our hearts and our emotions, and with our children being “the judge” of how effective we were.
We all desire to give our children as much as we can. Especially those of us who grew up poor as children and went without, because we want so badly for our own children to have a better childhood than we did, and to have the things that we didn’t.
Sadly, and where parenting is absolutely the most valuable, the most critical, and has the most impact (lifelong at that), we have a tendency to devalue it. And if not that, then we may at least be guilty of under estimating the criticality of it. I’m referring to emotional support. Along with that comes an emotional connection, and through that emotionally bonding with our children which is absolutely critical in order for them to proceed.
To digress for a bit; the reason the State of Ohio is incessantly clamoring about non-custodial parents paying “child support” (which really does little more than support the custodial parent’s lifestyle as many studies have clearly shown) is not because Ohio is concerned about the welfare of the children, rather Ohio in ONLY concerned about the profit it earns off of every “child support” payment.
But Ohio’s “Child Support” Enforcement Agency (CSEA) spokespersons and literature regularly use claptrap phraseology that equates supporting children entirely by merely paying “child support,” and it would be laughable if the subject weren’t so serious. That’s disgusting. To fully support children requires among many things, emotionally engaged parents. But emotional support and being deeply involved with your child emotionally is so critical that it alone can determine that child’s success or failure I believe. But the State of Ohio simplifies child rearing and sums it up in two words; “child support.”
Back to my point about how critical it is for parents to be actively engaged in their children’s lives on an emotional level, I can think of no other story that drives home the point that how we raise our children and how involved we are with them, and NOT how much money we have to raise them, is the childhood story of Dr. Ben Carson.
The story of Dr. Carson’s childhood is nothing short of phenomenal. He was raised by a single mom who couldn’t even read, but despite that, made all of her children read books regularly, at least one a week a week, and they’d have to submit a book report on it which she “reviewed and approved.” Dr. Carson joked in an interviews that she had to approve them all because she couldn’t read and therefore couldn’t fail a report.
So here we have Dr. Ben Carson, a world renowned pediatric brain surgeon (retired) who’s second to none, and was raised by a very poor single mom. If you’re interested in learning more about Dr. Carson’s story, then look up some of his YouTube clips, his story is nothing short of a miracle.
The aforementioned are two shining examples that prove that how we parent; IE our style, our emotional investment in our children, how we connect to them, is far more important, more influential and has far greater impact than “what we parent with.” And by that I mean our income, our possessions, our wealth.
So what I hope you take away from this is that what matters most to your own children, dad, is who you are and how you relate to them, not what you have or what you can give to them in the physical sense. And although that applies to all fathers, I feel it’s imperative that poor single fathers really heed that. I think that they are susceptible to becoming despondent out of fear that their inability to meet all of their child’s basic physical needs such as food, shelter, and clothing will forever “damage” their children and prevent them from being successful when they become adults, and that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
So despite the fact that perhaps on Father’s Day, June 15, 2014, you may be poor, you may be homeless, and you may feel wholly inadequate as a father, and I truly hope for yours and your children’s sake that you don’t. But if you do, please look to the struggles that Chris Gardner went through as a poor and homeless single father and look to where that same father is today. Also know that what got Chris to where he is today was “HOPE” and his state of mind. It’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to feel fear, and it’s okay to have worries, but you don’t have to be a prisoner nor slave to any of those things. They are all a state of mind that you should never stop trying to overcome them. And so long as you have hope, you will overcome them.
In the mean time and as a father, just be there for your children and connect with them emotionally along the way, because in the end, and when they become adults themselves, what you don’t have today and what you couldn’t give them today in the physical sense won’t matter and won’t stop them from succeeding. Their success will come from you being a father and doing what fathers do best; being there for their children and loving them as you raise them. In doing that, and by also being emotionally involved and connected with your children to the best of your ability, perhaps one day your own son or daughter will be a world renowned pediatric brain surgeon, or will find a cure for all cancers, or perhaps will be the best president the United States has ever had.
Happy Father’s Day Dads!!
Ohio Council for Father’s Rights