There’s almost nothing that can prepare you for the lifetime adventure that is parenthood—especially as a Black single father. But here you are seeking advice and improvement, which means you’re already on the right track. If you’re new to the game, overwhelmed, or just need a few pointers on this whole fatherhood thing, this one’s for you, Dad.
Do Your Homework
Parenting doesn’t come with a playbook, but there are guides (like this one) and other resources you can use to help craft your own. Equip yourself with knowledge of successful parenting strategies and the stages of childhood growth and development (especially if you’re raising daughters) to make addressing things like puberty and hormonal changes less awkward.
Establish an open line of communication, encouraging them to share their experiences, concerns, or questions without fear of judgment. When the time comes, you’ll be a step ahead of wandering minds.
Don’t Bash the Other Parent
Fathers play a huge role in shaping their child’s perspective, so it’s crucial not to bash the other parent (usually the mom) in front of them. Negative comments about the other parent can have an impact on the child’s emotional well-being. They’ll often internalize these remarks, leading to confusion, guilt, and a sense of divided loyalty.
When your child asks difficult questions about the other parent, do your best to provide honest (age-appropriate) answers, avoiding the exposure of unnecessary details or expressing feelings about personal disagreements between the two of you.
Be chill and neutral and emphasize that both parents love and care for their children, even if they are not together. This approach not only sets a good example for conflict resolution but also helps children maintain a sense of security, reinforcing the idea that both parents are on their side.
Meet Kids Where They Are
Today’s kids aren’t flipping through their favorite magazines, burning CDs, or hanging outside with friends until the street lights come on (iykyk). Times have changed and forms of entertainment and communication have been heavily influenced by advanced technology, exposing children to a lot more from an early age.
So how do we resonate with them? By meeting them right where they are. Engage in conversations about their favorite apps, online games, social media platforms, etc. This not only shows genuine interest but also gives you a better understanding of the content they consume and the digital spaces they navigate.
As you spend bonding time, encourage hobbies, sports, or other artistic pursuits that don’t involve screens. This will provide a