RESPONSIBILITY

All children need to be taught about responsibility.  This is  a skill that does not comes naturally.  It starts from the time when they are little babies.  We teach them that there are consequences for their actions.  If they behave badly they get punished.  If they show positive behavior they get rewarded.  In the end they are responsible for what they do.

As a positive parent with 3 male black children these lessons are even more important.  As a young man growing up in Brooklyn, New York, I became well aware of the pressures that young black men face.  My dad taught  my brother and I that our actions would determine what our lives would become.  He drilled into our heads the necessity of staying out of trouble, getting as much education as we could and to be mindful of all of our relationships.

His lessons on staying out of trouble are self explanatory.  The jails are filled with minority men and some use this experience to grow.  Most are caught on a treadmill and stay stuck exactly where they are. Even though his education was very limited, he understood that knowledge is power and as these talks took place during the 1960′s and 1970′s teenage pregnancy was just as much a problem then as it is now.

Even though my dad grew up in the segregated south, I never remember him teaching us to ” hate the white man”.  His emphasis was on teaching us that we were responsible for our own destinies.  That meant focusing on those positive things that would make us useful members of society.  In fact I only mention my ethnic background as a point of interest.  These principles could be used by anyone.   As the world is getting smaller I think that we’re finding out that we share many of the same problems. Although I talk about here about men, young women need to be taught about and practice responsibility as well.

These are lessons that I pass along to my kids as well as any kid that comes into my sphere of influence.

I would like to read your comment and don’t forget to vote in this week’s poll.

I LOVE BEING A DAD!!

46 comments

  1. I absolutely love what you’re doing here Wendall! I have also had 4 children. Two sons and two daughters, though I lost my first son to S.I.D.S. at the age of 6 weeks. Exactly one year later we were blessed with my first daughter, Faith (guess how we decided on the name) and lit up our lives! Unfortunately we almost lost her just a few days after her birth. She had central apnea and would stop breathing everytime she fell asleep. She suffered serious brain damage and now at the age of 8 she cannot do much more than walk. We also have a perfectly healthy 6 yr old daughter and a very healthy 4 yr old son (he’s a jr, of course!) who all live in upstate N.Y. with their mother. I moved back to MA, just south of Boston where we are originally from. Their Mom and I were married for 10 years and became seperated 3 years ago and the custody battle got very ugly. She threatened to have me shot and then got a restraining order on me so I was only able to see my children on Sundays. I have been living in MA for about 10 months now and I get up at 4 am every Sunday, drive 4 hours to upstate NY (an hour west of Albany) spend 10 hours with my babies, then drive 4 hours home. I am a 43 year old white male (SwampYankee) and in my lifetime I have lost my father, my first son, been stabbed multiple times, shot, spent years in prison, lost a home and business to arson, lost my children, and was told I have a cyst on my brain, but… ANYONE who has met me will tell you I am one of the nicest and happiest people around. My father was mean, tough, strict and abusive… I learned to be loving and kind, happy and considerate from my father. Not for any other reason except that he showed me exactly how NOT to be with my children! I LOVE BEING A DAD TOO!

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  5. I absolutely love what you’re doing here Wendall! I have also had 4 children. Two sons and two daughters, though I lost my first son to S.I.D.S. at the age of 6 weeks. Exactly one year later we were blessed with my first daughter, Faith (guess how we decided on the name) and lit up our lives! Unfortunately we almost lost her just a few days after her birth. She had central apnea and would stop breathing everytime she fell asleep. She suffered serious brain damage and now at the age of 8 she cannot do much more than walk. We also have a perfectly healthy 6 yr old daughter and a very healthy 4 yr old son (he’s a jr, of course!) who all live in upstate N.Y. with their mother. I moved back to MA, just south of Boston where we are originally from. Their Mom and I were married for 10 years and became seperated 3 years ago and the custody battle got very ugly. She threatened to have me shot and then got a restraining order on me so I was only able to see my children on Sundays. I have been living in MA for about 10 months now and I get up at 4 am every Sunday, drive 4 hours to upstate NY (an hour west of Albany) spend 10 hours with my babies, then drive 4 hours home. I am a 43 year old white male (SwampYankee) and in my lifetime I have lost my father, my first son, been stabbed multiple times, shot, spent years in prison, lost a home and business to arson, lost my children, and was told I have a cyst on my brain, but… ANYONE who has met me will tell you I am one of the nicest and happiest people around. My father was mean, tough, strict and abusive… I learned to be loving and kind, happy and considerate from my father. Not for any other reason except that he showed me exactly how NOT to be with my children! I LOVE BEING A DAD TOO!

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