New York City 399 199x300 POSITIVE PARENTING   HAPPY FATHERS DAY 2011Happy Father’s Day to all the positive parents who are dads!!

As a 58 year old man, I can think of no one who was more of a positive influence in my life than my dad. I owe him everything. It was he who showed me all the things that I needed to know to become a positive parent. He never used the term positive parenting but if it were not for him, I really can’t imagine what kind of person I would have become.

As a young boy growing up in Brooklyn, NY, I can remember my dad being a no nonsense kind of guy. He took his job of being dad very seriously. It was during those times that I began to experience such things as not being his best friend and coming to understand that spanking definitely got my attention. Despite all that I was always at odds with my dad. I guess I was going through those stages when I knew everything. I felt that no one, including my dad knew more than I did.  Can you imagine a young boy thinking that he knows everything? It’s funny how history repeats itself. The very same arguments I was having with my dad, my kids had with me. The one thing he taught us (my sister, brother and I) was that positive parents don’t turn their backs on their kids, no matter how stupid those kids act.

He continued to work with me, despite me continually being in an argumentative state. It wasn’t until I went to the Million Man March in Wash., DC in November, 1995 that I began to see the real picture. There at one place, at one time there were one million men who acted and talked like my dad did. That opened my eyes to what my dad was doing and also to what I had to do. During that time which is no different than now, America’s prisons were filled with young Black men and it was my dad’s wish (as it is mine today) to keep his kids away from that situation.

After that trip all the things he was teaching me became very clear. I developed a new mission statement that included me becoming the best dad I could be. My oldest son went with me on that trip and I truly believe that it had a positive impact on both of us.

I think for the rest of this year I want emphasize the need to rebuild the bridges that were destroyed. My dad is still an important part of my life and he and I have a great relationship. For those of you who do not have as great a relationship with your dad as I do with mine, take a moment to call him and wish him a Happy Father’s Day.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!

I LOVE BEING A DAD!!

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