Category: acceptance

Many times we think that what happens in one culture is much better in another country, but this young male, in the United Kingdom works with gangs and males on a similar level. I wanted to share what Craig Pinkney is doing, because there are literally no barriers.

We have the same issues and the same hurts and even the same pains and violence in communities.

Also, don’t forget young girls and that they suffer as well.

Daughters need direction, as well as males and the atrocities to their souls carry on for a lifetime. KEEP REACHING OUT, FATHERS.

I always thought women were an object from which to obtain sex. Having a daughter reminded me that they were once little girls, just wanting to be rocked to sleep.
– ba9man

The last post I wrote highlighting for mothers the role sexual development plays in their daughters’ overall happiness was incredibly well received. But since it went viral, I’ve gotten many requests to write one for fathers. So here it is.

A little girl needs her father’s support in her unfolding sexual development because it helps secure three hugely important facets of how she’ll see herself in the world throughout her life. You’ll influence her level of personal confidence, her body comfort and pride, and you’ll set her expectations for the way she should be treated by boys and men.

Even though fathers only want the best for their daughters, when asked to contemplate the idea that they should play an active role in guiding their daughters as they transition from little girl, to girl, to young woman, they squirm. They wince. They slam their eyes shut in an effort to make it stop. They say, “Go ask your mother.”

This is exactly the kind of response I’m going to ask fathers to reconsider, because your daughters really do need you.

Whether we’re talking about the idea of teaching your toddler the accurate names for her body parts during bath time, educating your 8-year-old about menstruation or discussing sexual behavior as your teenager is getting ready for a date, dodging, squirming and wincing aren’t reactions that are going to help your daughter feel comfortable in her own skin or confident about who she is.

Parents don’t wince over things they’re proud of or happy about in their kids, and even our youngest daughters understand this. When we’re proud of them and happy for them, we beam. We smile. We tear up. So, when you reveal your discomfort with your daughter’s sexuality, you’re unintentionally teaching her it’s either something to be afraid of or something to be disdained. You’ll also be directly or indirectly teaching her you don’t want to be involved in knowing that part of her, and that will probably create distance in your relationship. None of this will enhance her self-esteem or her ability to believe you love her unconditionally.

In both my clinical practice and my private life, whenever men share their fears for their daughters’ sexuality, it tends to go something like this: “I’m going to put her in a convent because I know what guys are like.” But if the problem is that fathers know what guys are like, the solution isn’t to make our daughters pay the price by sequestering them. The solution is to raise our sons to respect girls and women.

On that note, we need to be more conscious of what we imply about kids’ sexuality from the time they’re little. We always think the sexual socialization of our sons and daughters begins in adolescence, when it actually starts so much earlier. Take the following typical scenarios and compare how differently we treat male and female sexuality.

Scene One: When my daughter was a toddler and we were at the playground, it would be very common to have an adult approach the mother of a toddler boy who, by society’s standards, would be considered beautiful, and say with a smile, “Oh… he’s going to be a heartbreaker when he grows up!”

Embedded in that comment lies the cultural message that there’s an expectation this little boy will leave a wake of female misery behind him as he moves through his adolescence and manhood. He’ll love them and leave them, breaking hearts right and left. And it isn’t said with contempt. It’s a celebration of his male sexuality — it will be a point of pride that he’s a heartbreaker.

Scene Two: It would be just as common on that same playground to have an adult approach the mother of a toddler girl who, by society’s standards, would be considered beautiful, and say with a smile, “Oh, what a beautiful girl! You better lock her away until she’s 30!”

Embedded in that statement is the cultural message that this little girl should basically resign herself to being seen as a sexualized victim — that she’ll be so ill-prepared to take care of herself, she should just be locked away. And this isn’t said with sadness. It’s a celebration of censure — a happy stealing away of her ownership of her female sexuality.

That’s the G-Rated childhood version, but your daughter will swim in a sea of similar messages throughout her life. Just open a newspaper or go online to find a current example of the R-Rated version, like Soroya Chemaly’s article regarding an ongoing battle with Facebook to remove content that trivializes or encourages violence against girls and women.

From the impact of a seemingly innocuous playground comment to the violent extreme of rape culture, this is why your daughter needs to know you value her sexual worth. Locking her away until she’s 30 isn’t what will help her. Her internalization of your esteem for her is what will be useful to her in combating the pressures she’ll be up against. I do want to stress, however, that it isn’t all about safety. Her internalization of your esteem for her will also be one of the things that gives her the confidence to be true to herself so she can make decisions in pursuit of her personal happiness on all fronts.

So, on the road to raising a happy, confident woman, here are three things your daughter needs from you:
1. She needs you to respect her body and its capacities.

When she’s little, don’t avoid using the correct names for her body parts. I saw a discussion about this on “The View,” and one of the perspectives was that children are too young to know such “adult” terms. But they’re not adult terms. They’re anatomical terms. They contribute to self-knowledge, which contributes to a well-being. A study in the journalGender and Psychoanalysis found that preschool-age girls were more likely to have been taught the word “penis” than any specific word for their own genitals. That isn’t fair and it isn’t right. If you don’t call her elbow her “Over There,” then don’t refer to her vulva as her “Down There.” When we do that, we only stigmatize those parts and make it even harder for our girls to feel pride and ownership over them. And if you’re uncertain about the anatomical terminology, invest in the two minutes it will take you to Google it. Your daughter’s body image is well worth those 120 seconds.

When she’s older, don’t shy away from discussions about menstruation, and if you don’t understand how it works, educate yourself years before she starts so you can respond to any questions that might pop up along the way. Let her know you’re proud of her reproductive functioning. Remember, if it weren’t for menstruation, you wouldn’t even have a daughter. If the two of you have talked about it from the time she was young, when she’s older, you’ll already have built a shared comfort level with it. Then, if she asks you to pick up some tampons for her while you’re out, rather than having it turn into an awkward moment that would have reflected negatively on her reproductive system, you can simply say “sure,” and ask her to write down what kind she’d like. The exchange will be as it should be: natural.

2. She needs to feel close to you throughout your lives together.

Don’t go MIA or withdraw from her once she starts to sexually mature. I believe the psychology of this common paternal phenomenon is rooted in how basic it can feel to some men to view women primarily through a sexualized lens. (As Billy Crystal jokes, “Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.”) It can be difficult for men to go from parenting a pre-adolescent girl to finding themselves the father of a young woman with curves.

Remember, that new body is the one your daughter will be living in the rest of her life. Let her know you’ll be by her side throughout it all. If you back away, there’s a danger she may think it’s her fault. She could feel she’s losing her closeness to you simply by virtue of being drawn into a biological process she has no power to stop. There’s absolutely no way she can stay your little girl just so you can remain comfortable. Sometimes, though, a girl feels caught in this bind and she may sub-consciously feel she has to choose between her human sexuality and your love for her. She may also fear you’ll judge her if she ventures into sexual activity. When this occurs, in addition to weakening her bond with you, it can later complicate her ability to have adult sexual relationships without experiencing guilt or shame; it’s hard to have a solid sense of personal confidence if you feel like you’re being judged or like you’re not enough for your parents, just the way you are. As her father, you have the power to make certain she knows your love is steadfast, and that she won’t have to choose between your love and her maturation.

3. She needs you as a role model for how she should be treated by boys and men.

No matter her sexual orientation, your daughter will live in a world with boys and men. Pay attention to the way you address her as well as to the way you talk about women. Be thoughtful in the way you speak to your sons about girls and women, and set limits on appropriate language. The tone you set in your home can either negatively complicate how she believes she deserves to be treated by the opposite sex, or it can ground her in her right to be treated respectfully.

Part of that respect needs to include your appreciation of the fact that her sexuality will be about far more than just the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy and sexual violence. More importantly, it will be about desire, attraction, the complexities of romantic relationships and often, difficult choices. Offer her guidance, but as she experiences these things, healthy parenting will also sometimes involve affording her the same freedom you would want for yourself — the freedom to follow her own heart and mind.

*****In my research, one of the most common things daughters said about their fathers was they wish they were more communicative. So, take the risk on behalf of your daughter, and open the door for the two of you to talk about sexual matters. Don’t worry if you’re nervous — in fact, cop to it. Tell her you weren’t raised to be comfortable talking about sexuality, but that you’re going to forge ahead because you never want her to ever question your regard for her wellness and happiness. She won’t care if you fumble through it at first. Let her know you understand her sexuality will be an important part of who she is throughout her life and that you want her to always be comfortable in, and proud of, her body.

Let her know she should be treated with the respect she deserves, and that it’s your honor, as the first man in her life, to set that bar high.


Source: Huffington Post  Author,  – Psychoanalyst, author of ‘Your Daughter’s Bedroom: Insights for Raising Confident Women’ – Link can be found here.

By Leslie M. Gordon and William K. Middlebrooks, Essence Magazine.

Robin Roberts and Dad

This excerpts from Dare To Be Extraordinary: A Collection of Positive Life Lessons from African American Fathers are taken from the chapter on ABC Broadcaster and Good Morning America host, Robin Roberts.

Robin Roberts brings joy, honesty, and news to millions of loyal Good Morning America viewers each day. When she laughs, we laugh. When she cries, we cry. People are naturally drawn to her just as they were drawn to her loving father, Colonel Lawrence Edward Roberts, a man she describes as a true officer and a gentleman…

In Roberts’ eyes, her father was a gentle giant. He was compassionate and although he had a straight-laced, buttoned up persona, and a deep voice, there was a real softness to him.…

Roberts loved to answer the telephone: “Colonel Roberts’ quarters, Robin speaking.” Her father would just look at her as if to say, “Oh my gosh, what have I raised?” …When the future broadcaster was ten years old, her family lived on Keesler Air Force base in Biloxi, Mississippi where her father was a commander. Her uncle and his family came to visit. Excited, Roberts wanted to run outside to greet them the moment she saw her uncle’s car pull up in the yard. Her dad calmly put his arm around her shoulders and said, “No.” He wanted her to conduct herself like a young lady and expressed that when they got in the house, she could jump up and down and knock her cousins over like a Labrador retriever if she chose to…

Colonel Roberts never had to sit Roberts or any of his children down to talk about going to college or doing something important with their lives. Greatness was just expected…

She remembers a time in college when she had her heart set on buying a motorcycle, and she felt that she needed to tell somebody. So she called her sister, Dorothy … About an hour later her telephone rang … “Dorothy won’t tell us what it is but she said that you’re going to do something you shouldn’t do, so technically she didn’t violate your trust,” her mother said.

Roberts told her mother the truth: “I’m getting a motorcycle tomorrow.”

Immediately her mother put her dad on the phone. Her father firmly said to his youngest child, “Under no circumstances will you buy a motorcycle. No daughter of mine will do that. You know it’s a deathtrap. You have a car to get you from point A to point B. You

know, if that’s gonna be the case you can bring that car home, and you can just ride your bicycle to your classes.” Her father went on and on until Roberts relented. “Fine, I won’t buy a motorcycle!” Robin said and hung up.

Many years later, her dad asked her, “Did I handle that right, Robin? Because I really don’t think I handled that right with you.” Robin replied, “Dad I’m fine! It’s okay. I’ve really let it go.”…

Roberts’s father influenced her career choice because it was an adventure being the daughter of Colonel Lawrence E. Roberts. She wanted to see even more of the world because her dad had already shown it to her and because she had already gotten a taste of it, she knew that as an adult a nine to five job wasn’t for her.…

On Good Morning America in 2003, Roberts had the honor of flying an AT-6, an Air Force training aircraft her dad once trained in. … They found an old clunker and Roberts joked that she wanted to fly a plane like her father did, not the actual 50+ year-old-plane that he flew in World War II. “This thing came chugging down the runway and my father was just beaming,” Robin shares. “Some of my favorite video is of him watching me fly and being with other Tuskegee Airmen.”…

Knowing that her father came from humble beginnings and went on to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot influenced her to pursue her own dream of becoming a sports journalist. “It was almost like, how dare I not try to do this.…

“My dad saw me become the news anchor, but he passed away before I became an anchor at Good Morning America. He passed away shortly before I became one of the anchors with Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson,” Robin says. “I so wanted him to see this, but the comfort I have is that I know my father was proud of me and that’s the only thing that I, or any child, could ever ask for.”

Source: Essence Magazine

Worthy Cause, Worthy Book

Our mission at is to “Help fathers make a positive impact on the lives of their children”. Simple but not easy!

Most of us are not handed a “How to be a Good Father” handbook when we have a child born. But rather, we either rely on what we saw or experienced growing up and quite frankly, that could have been a good or bad experience. With we want to offer all fathers (and mothers too) a place to visit where you can regularly access a set of proven parenting resources that either supplements the “good father” experience you had growing up, or likewise, if your experience wasn’t so positive, provide you with useful tools, information and on-going support that helps you become the extraordinary father you want to be!

How we support this mission will involve numerous approaches and challenges, both large and small, but at the end of the day if we want our sons and daughters to thrive and have a better life we as fathers must dare them to be extraordinary. We dare them to be extraordinary by being engaged in their lives, by instilling in them the values of respect, honesty and integrity, by demonstrating to them an exemplary work ethic, by embracing the importance of faith in all that we do and finally by committing to an uncompromising level of excellence in our daily lives.
Our promise at is to offer a platform that positively promotes the role and importance of men, particularly African American men, as fathers in our society through the following ways:

Recognize and uplift men who are engaged and loving in their role as fathers.
Educate and reinforce for men the important role and positive impact they can have as fathers.
Inspire men to take a leadership role in raising their sons and daughters to live out extraordinary lives.
Offer compelling testimony that men have the capacity and demonstrated history to raise and influence their sons and daughters to become extraordinarily positive people within their community and beyond.
Begin a new positive conversation about men and their role and influence in raising their sons and daughters.

Hear, my child, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble. Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.
Proverbs 4:10-13

To Read more about this movement go to:

It’s never too late, fathers… to connect.

Will Smith’s portrayal of a son yearning for his father’s love and yet becoming desensitized to the anger is an excellent portrayal of the hurt and pain kids and young men and women tend to feel. (Thanks, Will Smith) for your good acting.

They are sad, but true feelings.
So fathers we encourage you to never stop trying to REACH OUT to your children. No matter what the circumstances, still try. If it turns out they have left, and you have no contact, use your spiritual and natural resources to find help, so that you are not alone, and in isolation.

For young men and women who have father hunger, you also should seek resource and support. You are not alone.























Author ~ Jennifer Owens ~  In honor of our fathers on Father’s Day

Making Amends…

This is an excerpt of Jennifer Owens, (Reginald’s sister) sharing with her father, Leroy Cox at a Family Day in Rochester NY. She is dressed in African garb, because she had just come back from S. Africa and was sharing thoughts on her journey there. We are sharing this excerpt because as a father, it’s important we recognize the power of making amends. There are many things in life we can never go back and change. We need to forgive ourselves, forgive others, learn to trust again and move beyond our fears.

Here’s my sister’s testimony of how her father’s love helped heal her:

Father Hunger

Each of us longs for the Fathers Love & Acceptance.

The absence of a mature father-child connection creates a void in the soul, a residual “father hunger.”

Father hunger is the result of receiving too little quality fathering as a child or young adult. Some argue that even grown men and women need fathers or father surrogates and that the absence of such role modeling and support is associated with less fulfillment in life. In general, father hunger results from too little intimacy between child and father.

In contemporary psychoanalytic theory, the notion of “father hunger” has been introduced by James M. Herzog to address the unconscious longing experienced by many males and females for an involved father. According to Herzog, the father plays the intrapsychic role as the modulator of aggressive drives and fantasies. Children or adults who experience father hunger yearns for a figure that can help them formulate their response to aggression and tolerate trauma.

Herzog began by studying 18- to 28-month-old boys whose night terrors were found to be associated with the loss of their fathers through separation or divorce. He suggested that these boys needed their fathers to help manage their rapprochement-stage aggressive impulses. The absence of this paternal help led the boys to turn their aggression towards their selves and then to project it in the form of their fears at night.

Herzog continued linking aggression to father loss two years later, when he noted that children of both genders had problems modulating their aggression after they had lost their fathers through divorce. This finding led him to posit a new developmental role for the father—the regulation of aggressive drive and fantasy.

“The father wound is epidemic among us,” says Gordon Dalbey. As a result, we see unfathered men growing up armored with a counterfeit of masculinity. But until their sons face the reality of their emotional abandonment, they may never seek the healing they need.

The father-wound is most often a wound of absence–emotional as well as physical. As such, it’s harder to recognize than others.

In the souls of men, the weapon of destruction is shame. When Dad doesn’t embrace, encourage, guide, and protect him, a boy grows up thinking, “Dad doesn’t value me. I must not be worth much.” He doesn’t feel like a real man, confident that he belongs in the world, with both a destiny and the power at hand to fulfill it. He feels tremendous shame and anger at being abandoned in his deepest need.

Distrusting himself and other men, he’s easily suckered into a counterfeit masculinity, from fast sex and alcohol to isolation and violence. Hence, prisons are bulging. Yet even the average, law-abiding man today hasn’t had a father who said, “You’re my son and I love you,” or who helped him discover his unique talents and abilities. As a small boy in a large world of men, he’s imprisoned by bars of shame from father-abandonment, unable to fulfill his destiny.. He’s misfocused with his muscles, intelligence and energies destructively instead of creatively.

He doesn’t want to hide his wound; he wants to heal it. He wants to face and overcome his inadequacies, so he can fulfill his calling as a man, husband, father, worker, and citizen. He’s willing to confess, “I don’t need a beer, my boss’ approval, a sexual encounter, a gun, a race to hate, or a million dollars. I need a father!”

To break the crippling generational cycle of shame and destruction, at least two steps are necessary.

First, a man must forgive his father for wounding him. Often this happens as the man dares to see the awful brokenness in his dad which fueled the wounding. A boy cries FROM his father’s wound; dad hurts you, and you cry. But a real man cries FOR his father’s wounds, feeling his dad’s pain instead of stuffing it and acting out inappropriately.

Secondly, we men need to begin fathering ourselves through a community of support. The fatherless man today can begin to trust himself and reclaim his destiny as a man among men by getting together with other men and talking honestly about his brokenness and strengths. The shame flees when you discover you’re not alone, that we’re all in this together. The wolf loves the lone sheep.

There are 7 core issues for Father Hunger: ALL LEAD TOWARD ABANDONMENT ISSUES

1.) Divorce  2.) Death  3.) Abuse  4.) Addiction 5.) Single Mothering  6.) Traditional Fathering 7.) Adoption

The chance of the 1st marriage ending in divorce is 50%, by some estimates!

Spiritual Hunger or Thirst  / spiritual draught  / spiritual destitution Amos 8:11 – 13

Their children enter the world like tiny sponges, ready to absorb every little impression about themselves and their identity. They are unsure of who they are: Am I special? they ask. Am I valuable? Am I good? Am I merely an annoyance? Their fathers play a primary role in answering those questions.

Just what do you mean by ‘father hunger’?

By “father hunger” I mean the profound, but usually unconscious longing for affirmation and limits from male authority figures.  The most common words people use to describe their relationships with their fathers are “absence,” “sadness” and “I don’t know him.”  Men have not been given the permission or the skills to pass on who they are to their children.  We often know what makes fathers angry, but not the deep desires and dreams of their hearts, much less their loneliness and hurt.  That vacuum creates a similar emptiness in the hearts of sons and daughters.  Dad is an unnameable mystery, which only calls forth fear, doubt and sometimes endless rebellion.

Gordon Dalbey is the author of Healing the Masculine Soul and Sons of the Father: Healing the Father-Wound in Men Today. He lives in Santa Barbara, CA, and may be reached at .