I didn't know what to expect when I became a Dad. I didn't lack good fatherly figures -- I just had no clue of what the world expected of me. We hear plenty of stories blaming fathers in absentia for children's bad behaviour, society diagnosing a lack of the firm disciplinarian they so sorely needed to keep them in line -- but people rarely talk about what the value of a good father is.
This New Year as you make your resolutions, commit to making one that will get you healthy and fit -- financially. While setting personal resolutions have become second nature, the New Year should also be the time each of us sits down with family. Talk about what your financial goals are in 2014 and what you need to have in place to ensure that your family is protected and aware.
Sooner or later, and usually at the most inappropriate time, some version of The Question ("Where do babies come from?") will emerge from your child's lips. Whatever the inspiration, our responses as Black Daddies tend to oscillate between evasion and deliberate vagueness ("Go ask your mother....").
Buy your kids only the toys that you were deprived of as a child. For me, that was Star Wars. My childhood lightsaber was a cardboard wrapping paper tube. Two whacks and it went flaccid. My kids on the other hand have every lightsaber imaginable, from the telescopic cheapies, to official lightsaber replicas with authentic LucasFilm® sound effects. Sure they cry when I wallop them too hard, but painful is the path of the Jedi.
The Mommy Wars flared up again last month in time for Mother's Day, thanks to that insta-infamous Time magazine cover of the pretty blonde provocatively breastfeeding her almost-four-year-old beside the inflammatory headline: "Are You Mom Enough?" It talked about attachment parenting, but mostly in the context of mothers.