My friend Rob was a social worker and hated his job around the holidays. You would think there would be more peace, but exactly the opposite, as families fought worst than cats and dogs ever would. He stated the reason was because people are together only for holidays, when they normally avoid each other the rest of the year. Tempers begin to flare, words get said, booze is flowing, then fists start throwing.
However, if you and your child’s mother live in separate houses, you may know a little about those types of sparks during the holiday season. If you have not had that blow up yet, trust me, you probably will. Perhaps you buy the kids with your current wife/girlfriend (don’t date single mothers, there, you’ve been warned) more stuff than you bought for the child you two have together, you might get a phone call (or text these days I guess). Perhaps you do not have the money/gifts she wants to give the child you two have together because child support has you tapped out, or because it needs to be split with your other kids as well, then you will definitely get a phone call or text!
The advice by Rich Cooper is great in this short vid. I love his channel (and he’s a car guy as well so that helps) as Rich is all about telling men to focus on themselves, “Do the Work”, and focus on excellence, not booty. However, he’s also divorced and has a lot of good content on dealing with ex-wives and parenting, so I can’t recommend his channel enough.
If you have any advice on how to avoid, cope or just a story about “Baby Momma Drama” in your past, feel free to share in the comments below!
First, Happy Father’s Day to all my CSDs out there!
You know, it seems just like yesterday. The years I spent as a single-dad when my son was between 10-15 years old were the worst compared to the other 13 years. During this time period, I was struggling financially and trying to finish school to earn my degree, with the hope of coming up in this land of milk-n-honey. I was also trying to provide for my other children that were being born with my wife and also going to work at various places meant days that never ended and stress that felt like I was carrying a weight 24/7.
My poor sociology teacher had to read all about my struggles, as I poured my heart out in essay after essay. My son was at an age where he could choose (he was not given that “right” by me, but by his mom and the court) whether he wanted to come over to my home or not, and oftentimes for various reasons, he would not. Perhaps the ultimate knife in my chest was when he told the referee that he did not want to come to my home, as there were too many rules, he did not have fun and all we did was go over his grandparent’s house. My heart stopped beating that day in the court room, as I was fighting to maintain the visitation rights that I fought for when he was just a baby. I thought, “And this is how I get paid back?” “I’m being treated worse than Cain who said, ‘It ain’t mine’ and bounced. For those who have seen Menace To Society, they know what I’m talking about.
But it was all of those experiences that moved me to create this blog years later.
The essay below was one that I wrote in 2001 for my Social Science Theory class. My superb professor had us all develop a theory by the end of the semester, as she knew that social and psychological theories that change the world are not only born when you have a Ph.D.. So it is in the environment above that I have described, that my Alliance Theory was born. When I performed my research for the paper (yes, done without the internet and we had just got a computer for me to type this on), I learned that my theory had basically been previously presented and was known as Parental Alienation Syndrome.
I’ve never shared this publicly, and I’m posting pictures of the essay until I can type a more recent edition. Therefore, you get to see all of my grammar mistakes, the faded paper, etc.. But I wanted to share this on Father’s Day to once again encourage those of you struggling as well. You may not get to see your son or daughter today, as they may choose (or the mother may choose for them) to spend it with a new guy, with mommy or a step-father instead.
I know it hurts. It hurts to watch you and your child’s relationship melt and you seem to be the only one that cares. You know your child has no idea the impact that this is going to have in his or her life. But you hang in there. Never give up and cry to yourself if necessary. Emotions usually spring forth in the only way society allows men to grieve, and that’s through anger and violence. But you probably know that when you lose control in those arguments, you lose. She can just pick up her “toys” if you will, and go home. You look like the bad-guy, and to your child, you are that bad guy. Why? Read the essay below.
Make today a special day for yourself. It’s special because you are still there, whether your son or daughter understands right now or not.
Now this was written 14 years ago, but what do you think? How has your life experience been and does this theory fit your situation? Let me know in the comments below or email me.
So again, if that phone doesn’t ring or no one comes to visit, you at least get a heart felt Happy Father’s Day from CSD my man, and may God bless you.
Tonight I was talking to a young man who’s about to be a father and wonders if his life is over. May I encourage all of you single dads that actually, your life has just begun. If you think you’ve never accomplished anything in school, at work, or wherever…now you can. If you didn’t have a father in your life, now you can show your child what it’s really like to have one. What can seem like something that has destroyed your life, can be what saves your life. If you’ve been living that “do-nothin” life in this country, they have a cell and/or grave waiting for you. But your child can give you something to set that alarm clock for in the morning. Someone to make you say, “Nah, I’m not going there or doing that…”. Someone that you can put your legacy and values on FOREVER. You will never do that at a job, never do that at a school, but you have an opportunity to do that in your child’s life…and that’s why God allowed YOU to be a father. Everybody else in your life may have said, and may still say, “That ___ isn’t ever going to do anything with their life.” But one day you’ll realize that other people’s opinions don’t pay your child support, hold your kid’s hand, teach them how to catch, or touch you in ways that will have you in tears like you’re the baby. You fellas get up in the morning knowing that you got something to live for, and die for, and be thankful not sorry, that your life will never be the same.
This podcast is guaranteed to make my “Best of” show one day! I’m finally pleased to post part one of this terrific hot-mic discussion that I had with my wife, mother, sister, son, and his friend. Folks, this is our family and this is how we often talk when we get together, so consider it a “reality-show podcast”.
This is part one of our discussion, so in this episode we discuss:
Is purity even a realistic goal for young people to have in today’s society?
Is the current generation less pure than the baby-boomer generation?
Do women really give thought to the kind of father that they want for their children before laying down with a man?
Warning: Parental discretion is advised. I understand that some may not have talked to their children about sex or many of the subjects that we are going to discuss. Therefore, listen first, and determine if it’s age appropriate for your family.
Your feedback is appreciated, so hit me up in the comment section or at the usual spots:
Now, I also grew up listening to The Winans as they were on my dad’s approved music list. My close friend’s father used to pick us up in the Ford panel wagon LTD and she’d have a Winans tape jamming every morning on the way to school. When my family heard the song Tomorrow before I did, I remember them telling me, “We know you’re going to love that song” and they were right. To this day it’s still one of my favorites.
So it bothered me to hear that Marvin Winans was now a victim, especially knowing that he has tried to make a difference in the city.
I’ve listened to some on the radio that criticized him for stopping at a station with a Rolex and a purple Infiniti SUV. But knowing that his QX56 only gets 16 mpg, I’m sure he’s stopped at gas stations in Detroit numerous times without incident.
But not this time.
Plus, is it now THAT bad? It wasn’t THAT bad in the ’80’s. Back then, we watched a Fiero get stripped right across the street in a few minutes in the middle of the afternoon. But I don’t remember it being THIS bad. I’m I wrong or do I have those “back-in-my-day rose-colored glasses on”?
Also, just the week before, this incident happened and lets just say my man certainly didn’t look like he was displaying a Rolex to fake Ludacris you see in the video. (Note: That old-head got with phony-Luda and it’s sad he had to get a bunch of his “boys” to help him buck with a guy twice his age…and the punks hit an older woman too…those fools are hard right there.)
But the gentleman in the video above did everything right. He didn’t look scared and even spoke to the dudes respectfully and didn’t even call them niggas, like I’m sure they call each other. What did he get in return, a beatdown that could’ve been much worse and thankfully it was not for him and his wife.
Are things just THAT bad?
If we say that they are, then what?
My prediction? At the current progression, two scenarios are likely to play out.
1.) Drastic measures will not be taken until someone of European-descent gets beatdown or killed as the national outrage will cause leaders to speak up and the negative attention will reach past the Michigan border.
Does anyone remember the fireworks brawl that got caught on tape in the early ’90’s (and remember, that was before Youtube)?
2.) Notice the event happened at another gas station. Fuses are getting real short on gas stations as they aren’t calling police on crimes taking place on their property and if you do something that effects them, they shoot you. Lack of police response and growing animosity against the police are all making for fumes that could ignite with one “minor” incident.
Does anyone remember 1967?
Back in the day, we knew who Marvin or at least The Winans were because we went to church.
Dad, when was the last time you did THAT with you kid(s)?
I’m not even talking about whether your church is good or not, but at least it puts the moral compass in the right direction.
An atheist sees me and my boys (friends) crewed-up with hoodies, Kangols and Adidas on at night. Why would he/she breath easier seeing us with Bibles in our hands as we walk from the Mission instead of the gas station up the street?
All rights reserved by Detroit Liger
(We may look bad outside the Mission at night, but trust me, we’re harmless)
Why? Because they know that “religious fanatics” have a moral compass and they are glad about it, because if we didn’t and just believed that now is the only reality and there are no consequences for our behavior, then they may be stretched out on that sidewalk and not make it back home that night. In other words, I’m sure the atheist would be glad we hold the fanatical worldview and not their view in that situation.
Now Dad, do you know where your children are?
Whether living with you or not, are they hanging out in the street, doin-dirty?
I just know he’s the guy that dropped the classic line, “I love me some me!” and had the great pom-pom end zone celebration that seemed much less rehearsed than the weak Sharpie-in-the-sock celebration pulled in Seattle in 2002.
Yes, it’s been that long. Hard to believe, but the San Francisco 49ers finally eclipsed the success they had when TO was there this season, as he departed the team in 2003. Back in 1999, there was Terrell Owens, a receiver that looked like he could re-write the record books and quite honestly, he eased the pain of Jerry Rice leaving for 49er fans as his talent seemed limitless. He was in perfect shape, 6’3 220+lbs, with deep-speed where DB’s could hang with him from 0-40 yards but post-40, “bye-bye”.
But then TO was born.
Obviously TO had a lot of fun. The article states that the he earned over $80,000,000 (1). That number is not a typo. However, now Terrell Owens finds himself “broke” (dude’s apartment is still the size of my house plus he’s in L.A., and I have 6 people with me) after suffering a knee injury without a contract, at 38-years old, with big child-support payments. Turns out that TO made a ton of bad business investments and even blames agent Drew Rosenhaus for not protecting him. Over the years, TO has always blamed a lot of people for a lot of things. I just watch the ESPN-tabloid so I don’t know what’s true.
But who’s to blame for this four kids by different mothers? The article states,
Now he is in court with all four women, whom he lumps together like one big bloodsucking blob. None of them are being fair, he says: “They know I’m not working; they know the deal.” Although he never established regular visitation with any of the children through the courts, he says he sees the eldest three as much as he can when their mothers allow it. So bitter is his relationship with the mother of the youngest child, a son, that he has never met the boy. (1)
Now, before I continue on, you may ask, “Who am I to judge?” Well, I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to seek a child support reduction, have a tenuous relationship with my son’s mother and fight for visitation. I didn’t make $80 million dollars, I was making a few hundred dollars every two weeks, worried about the lights getting shut-off, and had to take out a zillion dollars in student loans just to go back to school and re-invent myself because I didn’t want my son working side-by-side with me when he turned 16 years old. So yes, I’ve been there TO.
But TO, you need to start fighting to see your kids, and not just “when their mothers allow it” and you need to find a way to be a dad to the youngest you are yet to meet.
Any other single-dad that’s reading this, let me tell you that you fight. You continue to fight. You never stop fighting. Amazing that a fool is willing to fight and kill over stepping on his Jordans, but will hide like a mouse from our own children. This is not because we don’t care, but because we’re scared.
Scared of confrontation.
Scared of our own emotions and how they make us vulnerable.
Scared of losing because we are not in control of the situation.
But you call yourself “Hard”?
How well do you fight your inner-TO?
I often hear Terrell Owens speak of his grandmother and the impact she had on his life. However, I’ve never heard him really talking about his father. Perhaps it was because he didn’t meet his dad until he was 11 years old (2). In a 2004 Sports Illustrated article, we discover,
“At age 11 Terrell developed a crush on a girl across the street and began sneaking over to flirt with her–until her father told him that he could not “be interested in her” because she was his half-sister. “It took me a while to understand that I was talking to my father,” Owens writes. When he asked his mother why she’d never told him that his father lived across the street, she said that “it wasn’t necessary to explain everything to me.”
TO asks for no sympathy because nothing in his experience has given him reason to expect any. But he is entitled to it just the same, and his critics who read this book might want to lay off him for a while. It’s not hard to understand why a man deprived of his father, deprived of his childhood, deprived of the words I love you, would develop a tendency to call attention to himself when he succeeds.”
That was Terrell Owens talking right there. A man making himself vulnerable. But TO takes over when that same man, who knows what it’s like to grow up with a father so close yet so far, turns around and continues the same cycle with his children.
If a good man is hard to find, then the impact of a bad father is even harder to get rid of.
Just as Terrell’s dad was right across the street, TO’s image will be just as close for his children as daddy is just one ESPN click, internet page, and reality show away from them.
For what it’s worth, and not because I’m a 49er fan, I think I’d like Terrell Owens if I met him in person and we hung out. He seems like a guy that I’d get along with and I’d certainly love to hit the steel with him. But it’s TO that I couldn’t roll with, and if the article is true, I don’t think Terrell even wants to roll with TO any longer. Therefore, I hope Terrell steps back up and becomes the man and the father he’s supposed to be to his kids.
Perhaps you’re a single dad or soon-to-be divorced dad and you’re having a hard time dealing with visitation. Don’t stop fighting to see them and having a relationship with your child(ren). It’s not about you and the mom any longer, so don’t let that relationship hinder you.
It’s not always easy, it’s not always fun, but when you look back and know that you fought for something worth for more than $80 million, then you have reason to celebrate like this:
Remember, you only have one shot at this, so do it right.
(1) Jeff Arnold, Terrell Owens In GQ: I’m In Hell, http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201201/terrell-owens-gq-jeremiah-trotter-told-me-not-apologize-donovan-mcnabb, January 2012
(2) Charles Hirshberg, Sympathy For The Showboat, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1113703/index.htm, 2004
At the beach enjoying the children, but it hasn’t always been this easy! In this episode, I have the most beautiful co-host in the world, my wife. We tell a little bit about us and how our lives have changed with every child that we have been blessed with. We didn’t always see it as a blessing, but thank God he knows better than we do.
Feel free to email me at: email@example.com and leave your comments about the show or tell us how your life has changed with your children. Have things gone exactly the way you’ve expected them to go? Let us know!
While 13 sounds young enough to make headlines, in many areas of this country, that would not seem too surprising...even less if it's a 13 year old girl!
We often talk about generations of “babies raising babies” in the context of a young mother raising a baby, who later becomes a teenage mom herself. However, what about “junior raising junior”, as in a young father raising a son, who becomes a teenage-father?
An article published at the Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications (http://opac.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=7208) reports that the Yale School of Public Health found sons of adolescent fathers are nearly twice as likely to perpetuate the cycle of young parenthood and become teenage dads themselves. While the deleterious effects of teenage motherhood are well studied, often talked about and greatly feared, teenage-fatherhood if often viewed from a much different perspective. However, like teenage-motherhood, the decision to become a father unleashes challenges for both the father and the child.
Those on the outside looking in often ask, “How could this happen? Did the child not learn the lesson watching the struggles of the parent?”
The article gives some indication as to why the cycle continues. ““The mechanism of this intergenerational cycle remains unclear. However, research suggests that parents are a major factor in shaping adolescent attitudes and often communicate their values and expectations through their behavior,” Sipsma said.”
In other words young dad, your actions speak louder than your words.
In upcoming posts we will explore how to be a Teenage CornerstoneDad. It can be done, it is possible and I am a testimony to this fact. I became a father at 19 years old, while working a “deadend” job and still living with my parents. Suffice to say, it cost me far more than I would have ever imagined.
It will cost you far more than what you or any around you can imagine as well. Understand that I am not just talking about money. But, financially you will pay an enormous price as well.
We will also focus on the possibility of a tremendous payoff. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime for you to step up and be the man that you needed to learn how to be, albeit a bit early and before marriage.
If you are a teenage or even a single-father in your early 20’s, I would like to hear from you. Feel free to post your story in the comments section.