by Sumner Swanson Shaner
Fathers out there, let me ask you this: Have you ever witnessed your son slam the front door after a long day of school, crying? Have you been stuck in a stalemate with your partner, fighting a silent battle of who comforts your child? Was it your job to talk to your son, but you found yourself at a loss for words? You aren’t alone. Many fathers feel the same way. Does this sound familiar? You sit next to your son and ask him what’s wrong. He admits he got pushed on the playground at recess and was laughed at for crying. Then you say, from a loving place, “You need to fight back, show who’s boss.” Words that can change your son forever. Words that changed me forever.
Continue reading OPINION: How You Fit Into a Toxic Cycle, and What You Can Do to Protect Your Kids
by Cortez Charles
In my experience, the journey into fatherhood isn’t celebrated the way it often is for mothers. In a lot of cases, mothers get together with friends and family and have exciting gender reveals and immaculate baby showers. There is a wave of support and excitement around new moms. For expecting fathers, in a lot of cases, it’s the exact opposite. The news is often met with negativity and an obscene amount of pressure to provide, to love, and to protect, as those are viewed as key aspects of being a “man.” But now, it’s being a man and a father, and that puts a lot of pressure on men entering fatherhood, often without community offering them the additional support that they need.
Continue reading OPINION: Fatherhood Is a Journey to Be Celebrated
by Troy Landrum
The haircut is a bonding moment for son and Father. This is an experience for you to see one of the many identities/roles Father takes on around other men. You get a glimpse into a world that is sacred to Father and important to the development of a son’s social skills. It is important for a son to pay close attention to the interactions: to learn how to compose himself, respect himself and others, and also how to approach the barber and other people whom he will one day interact with outside of the shop. You will be able to distinguish and study what type of man you want to be as you get older. The day will come when you will be taking this journey on your own.
It is important for a son to speak up for himself. If he doesn’t like something about the performance of the Barber, he has to be honest so the barber will change tactics. The son also needs to be aware of how important grooming is for himself and how he presents himself in public. He needs to be aware of how good he feels about himself after getting a haircut. It is a form of self-care. Grooming and taking care of oneself is a sign of self-respect, it will lead others to take the son seriously when maneuvering in professional settings. Embrace this time with your Father and store it in your memory. So that you can refer back to these memories when preparing for your own child. These steps will be repeated for future generations of Fathers and sons. You can get creative, but hold on to the core values.
Continue reading OPINION: Guide to Manhood — The Haircut
by Chamidae Ford
On the clear and warm Juneteenth afternoon, dozens of people gathered at Tukwila Village to march for Black fathers. The Black Fathers Matter March is an event dedicated to honoring Black fathers with a goal to emphasize the fact that despite the stereotypes forced on Black men around fatherhood, many are present and supportive of their children.
Continue reading Black Fathers Matter March: Honoring and Uplifting Black Fathers in Our Community