Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Guest post with help from a wonderful dad named LJ

I am addicted to writing and using Linked In is where I spend a lot of time communicating with some great dads and learning that there are even more of you wonderful men out there.  This blog comes from a Linked In post and I loved the comment from a new friend named LJ and I had to share this with all of you. The post started off with these ugly statistics that were actually old numbers.  I needed to put my voice to this post and because of that LJ added his voice and again I just wanted to share it with all of you. 

Calling all dads!! I keep hearing startling statistics that the fathers out there are dropping the ball. (Including myself cause I know I'm surely not perfect)
I would like some feedback on a couple points
1) The average father spends 17 seconds a day looking his child in the eyes.
2) The average father doesn't know the color of his child's eyes
3) In a home with a single mother, children are less likely to grow up involved in drugs, alcohol, or end up in prison, than a home with a disengaged father. But a home where the father has a strong interaction with the children, the chances of them turning to drugs, alcohol, or ending up in prison are only about 3%
To me this sounds like it's the fathers that are dropping the ball. Maybe this is the difference between a male and a man. Let me know what you think.
ME(Tommy) *Here is the thing that keeps driving me nuts about stats. When we bring up these it makes us men/dads look even worse that the media already shows us. Please show me stats that are positive and then you will see that there are wonderful men/dads. Stop the negative angles that are only going to continue to showcase that we suck as dads. There are SO many wonderful men/dads out there and they do not need to always need PR to show it but maybe we should start.

LJ*” I agree with Tommy's comment about the media attraction to stories that aren't the norm and tend to be more appalling or attention getting. With regards to the gentlemen that are facing court proceedings, keep in mind that the courts still tend to favor the mother, not the father. While its not something that receives media attention and would be denied in public, it's something that's been common knowledge for decades. In many instances it's up to the Dads to defend themselves and prove their worthiness to raise and care for their own children.

I experienced the flipside of this situation as a young child when my mother and father went at it in a very nasty court battle. As a result I grew up in a single parent household and never managed to meet up with nor find my father in later years. I swore that if I ever had children of my own, they would never have to endure either of those situations themselves.
I've been blessed with four daughters. Two during my first marriage and once again two more with my second. The older two are now off and running with their own lives having graduated from college and working in their own respective endeavors. I made lots of mistakes raising the older two. At times I even questioned why anyone would have thought I would make a good father. But somehow the older two both survived and turned out to be wonderful young women with lots of smarts going for them. I still wonder where the smarts came from. :-)

I'm working hard at helping to raise my two younger daughters’, they turn 2yrs old at the end of January, even better than I did the older two. It’s not any easier the second time around, especially with twins. I'm hoping to avoid the mistakes and wrong turns that occurred the first time around. Only time will tell. At the very least I plan on spending more time with my younger two and being even more involved than I was with the older two.
BTW...I've never been one to care much for statistics, at least not the kind that involve personal opinion gathering. They are way too fickle, subject to change at a moment’s notice, and involve too much emotion.”
I am hoping that you enjoyed this because it shows that there are truly dads who are out there like you who sometimes need to be reminded that you are great men just trying to do what is best to raise your kids.  All of you I know are doing the best job as dads that you can and even if you are not in the same household just knowing that you  care about your kids and taking the opportunity to be in their lives is very powerful.  Keep doing what you are doing and someday it will come back to you in droves.

Comments, concerns or verbal abuse send them to me please and thank you.

(Tommy Maloney is the author of the book “25 Tips for Divorced Dads: How to create special memories and grow your bonds with your children” He can be contacted 303.263.3118 or thomasmaloneyjr@yahoo.com to speak at your group.)

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