Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘mentoring’

Wholesome Parenthood: Is It Worth It?

Posted by Thomas on January 12, 2011

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Have you ever wondered if your parenting efforts, specifically, your efforts to be a good father are worth it? I mean, we know our children will disappoint us—for we disappointed our parents. Ever feel like throwing in the towel? Because you’re certain your child will bump their head on something foolish, real soon.

I’ve been there. I don’t like the idea of investing in something without the prospect of a decent return on that investment. Sometimes, I see my efforts in fatherhood through those same lenses. It is scary. I’ve said before, that being a parent is hands-down the hardest job I’ve ever had. And often times I wonder if my ranting and raving; and talking and talking and talking, is really making a difference in the life of my now teenage son.

We’ve seen in recent years, families close to us, struggle deeply in dealing with their young adults. And I’m not talking about kids reared in broken homes. These are kids—from families with involved moms and dads—making bad decisions; engaging in frightening behavior.

Is wholesome parenthood, particularly fatherhood, worth it? Why worry ourselves throughout sleepless nights over ungrateful and foolhardy children? (Sigh)

When I feel like this I try hard to remember the hell I put my mom through as a young adult. I try hard to step into the shoes of the young person. I try, despite the difficulties, to see things from the young person’s perspective—remembering where I came from.

When you start feeling down as a parent, second guessing your choices, your rules, the guidelines you’ve laid out for your child—exhale. Look in the mirror and say aloud “It’s worth it. It all will pay off in the end.” Trust that.

Remember, the ups and downs we experience with our children are only for a season. Have faith that you’ve done the best you could with what you had. And yes, from one parent to another, “YES!” it is all worth it. Your child will be a better person for all of your efforts. And that friends, is one of your positive contributions to the world at large.

God bless you!

May the Year of our Lord 2011 be very good to you and your loved ones.

I just finished reading Denzel Washington’s book A Hand to Guide Me. He makes a case for the Boys and Girls Club of America organization. He gives a compelling tale of how his own life was changed by the caring adults at his local club growing up. The remainder of the book is filled with personal testaments from other successful people (and not all are celebrities – which is great). Get the book and be inspired as a parent or a caring adult doing your part to make the world better by positively impacting the life of a child. So, this post could be titled: Wholesome Mentoring: Is It Worth It? You tell me…



Posted in African American Families, African American Men, Black Dads, Black Fathers, Dads, Education, Family, Mentorship, Rants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

How Your Legacy Changes the World

Posted by Thomas on January 12, 2011

When we think of the word legacy most often family comes to mind. I have expanded that view. Legacy not only encompasses my immediate family but my extended, self-declared family. These folks taught me more perfectly the concepts I’ve embraced as a husband and father.

The Rites of Passage Program is preventive; helping the young man successfully navigate the turbulent waters of adolescence journeying into manhood. When we execute this training correctly the young man creates a legacy that can last generations. It starts early with our concerted efforts. Since I’ve been taught I eagerly pass those teachings on to my son.

My “teachers” have included older men and women at the Miami Gardens Church of Christ. The lessons imparted have corrected and admonished, coached and guided, challenged and encouraged. By them I’m a better father. Empowered, I now have a worthy legacy to leave my son. Embraced, he will be empowered to cultivate a rich heritage with his own family. Regardless how humble or unwholesome your upbringing has been you have the power to choose a different family (when your natural family hasn’t modeled good things). Adopting your expanded family can lead to a positive legacy and heritage. Positive male-lessons must be passed on, through this; life-draining cycles are broken and replaced with life-affirming behaviors.

Following is a short list of concepts worthy to be passed on:

  • Keep God first
  • Fathers stay home
  • Husbands love your wife
  • Fathers don’t provoke your children
  • Parental influence reaches into the future

Simple lessons, yet not taught to our boys. Though not expressly listed in our Rites of Passage Program; empowering young black boys to fully embrace their manhood can lead naturally to embracing these lessons. And when this connection is made positive legacy and heritage germinates and flourishes.

What is your legacy, your family heritage—how did those things develop in you? Share your legacy with the young men around you; doing so changes the world.

Posted in African American Families, African American Men, Black Boys, Black Dads, Black Fathers, Dads, Faith, Family, Friends, God, Mentorship, Rites of Passage Program, success, What is Manhood to You? | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »