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Real Fathers Step Up To The Plate
6/17/2015 3:45:51 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Sonora Smart Dodd is credited with establishing a day to recognize fathers. You might say she had an epiphany in 1909 while attending a Mother’s Day sermon at her church. Her father had raised her and her siblings alone and she wanted to do something to pay tribute to him for the sacrifices that he made. I am sure there are others who can lay claim to the establishment of Father’s Day. Fathers are certainly under appreciated. A “good father” is worth his weight in gold. Every man who has fathered a child is not necessarily a father. Y’all know that, right?

A father provides for his children, sets examples and instills values. Fathers teach their children life skills. Fathers, for the most part, are the disciplinarian in the home. At least in my home, the discipline was left up to my dad. Now that I have had time to think about it, that was a mistake. I often thought the punishment did not fit the crime. I think the punishment would have been a little less severe had discipline been left up to my mother.

In recent years, mothers have had to add disciplinarian to their many tasks as single moms. Thus, the decline in behavior and respect for authority is evident. The difference between a mother’s and a father’s discipline is most mothers are “softies”. A mother will issue a verbal warning about what action she would take if her child does not follow her command. She will repeat the warning several times to the point of frustration. She may even perform the chore herself. Fathers handle things a little differently. Old time fathers, not the fathers of today, will issue one warning and before he is finished you are up and stepping. I didn’t appreciate the “old time fathers” back then but in retrospect, the fruits of their labor are testaments of their love and commitment to their families.

Many of the young fathers today are not taking the time to mold their boys into men. It takes time to develop a child into finer manhood. It is far from an easy job. Every dad believes his son has the ability to be a great athlete but how many believe their child can be President? On any given day, you can see dads on the park passing along their athletic skills to their sons but how many fathers will buy their sons computers? When his child is recognized for a special award, he sticks his chest out and says “that’s my child”.

I bet that rascal won’t stick his chest out in court and fess up to fatherhood. On the other hand he has not been around, but he feels disappointed when his child gets into trouble. Oftentimes, the basis for the trouble is the absence of dad. Dads, you have got to stick in there when things are going good as well as when things are not going good. Your son may not always get it right the first time but if you stick around eventually he will.

We owe a great deal of gratitude to those fathers who have not abandoned their responsibilities. We thank those dads for the shining examples that they are.

Now for those deadbeat dads when are you going to get your act together? Stop disowning your children to avoid child support. You know darn well those buggas are yours. They not only look like you and act like you, but they count backwards just like you do. There are dads who work two and three jobs to take care of their children and there are dads like you who work “no jobs”.

Deadbeat dads hop from woman to woman and bed to bed. You can’t take care of your children but you shack up with someone else and take care of theirs. You are so busy running from pillar to post you seem not to care that your children are in the streets at odd hours of the night knocking folks out, robbing, raping and stealing folks pocketbooks. Your babies are selling and using drugs. And, don’t forget they are out there bang, bang shooting up each other like they are in the wild, wild west.

You couldn’t get a deadbeat dad to attend a parent teacher conference if his life depended on it. Deadbeat dads won’t hold down a job more than a few months because he knows DSS will track them down through their employer. A deadbeat dad can’t help his children with homework because he didn’t stay in school long enough to do his.

Deadbeat dads lie, cheat, steal and deal. Oh yes, Mr. Deadbeat knows all of the street games including denying the authenticity of his children. Even when the DNA is indisputable, he continues to deny that he is the father to avoid paying child support.

Fathers, deadbeat or otherwise, some of y’all live in the house with your children and you allow them to do whatever it is they want to do. You don’t have the guts to tell your sons to pull those pants up on their butts and your daughters to get those burgundy and blue horse hair braids out of their hair out of fear your children won’t “like” you.

If you call yourself Father, be one. Fathers make decisions that are not popular but they make decisions that are in the best interest of their children whether they like it or not. Stop trying to be popular and do what is right for your children.

Fathers, there is still time for you to make amends. Find your children and do the right thing. Stop trying to evade your responsibilities. Why should mothers bear all of the responsibilities? Reclaim your children from the streets. Your presence is needed to guide your children from birth to maturity and then some more. Children never really leave the nest; they go away for awhile but they come back or they call for advice. So, Mr. Deadbeat Dad are you going to stop all of your slipping and sliding, peeping and hiding and step up to the plate? Well, are you?

In memory of my loving dad, John Gadson, who departed this life seven years ago, I miss you daddy but your teachings will forever be with me and so will those butt whippings. In keeping with biblical instructions, you did not spare the rod. Thanks for teaching all of your children how to fish so we could take care of ourselves. And for that, your children are never without food. Thank you daddy!


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