19 Men Share One Voice On Fatherhood

A man’s worth is measured by how he parents his children. What he gives them, what he keeps away from them, the lessons he teaches and the lessons he allows them to learn on their own. – L. Rogers

Jim Lin

Alvin: What has been your greatest experience so far as a dad? 

Jim: So many… but one of them has to be teaching my boy to ride a bike. It was an endeavor that took two entire days and in my eyes, it symbolized everything about fatherhood. I had to harness my kid’s desire and turn it into a reservoir of motivation that he could draw from throughout a day and a half of failure. I had to smile and encourage him in the face of my own exhaustion — that first day was pretty much me running with him, while trying to hold the bike up. I had to let go when I thought he was ready, and be there to catch him when it turns out he wasn’t. But when he took that first pedal and stayed up, followed by another, then another, then another, I got to share in the sheer elation that he felt. This was the first thing we accomplished together. Something that neither of us could have done on our own. And that is what fatherhood is all about. Also, the back pain. Oh, the back pain!  full interview…

Derek Markham

Alvin: Name one thing you feel that makes you an Awesome dad?  

Derek: One thing that makes me an awesome dad is that I am always able to fit everything we need for a road trip into our car, which is pretty amazing, if you knew us… Seriously, though, I think that because I can treat them as little people, not babies, I’m able to connect with my kids as a friend as well as a dad. And I can be pretty silly. That always helps.  full interview…

Tshaka Armstrong

Alvin: What has been your greatest resource for how to be an involved dad?  

Tshaka: Listening to the important women in my life as it relates to being the best father to a daughter that I can be. For my sons, it would be my dad. I want to do the great things he did and avoid those that weren’t so great. I’ve also read books and listened to numerous sermons on parenting that have helped and influenced me tremendously.  full interview…

Chris Lopez

Alvin: Name one challenge with being a father and how today it’s made you a better father?

Chris: The biggest challenge is finding time for yourself – to take care of yourself.  When I consult with and coach other dads I like to use the airline oxygen mask analogy….

“Put the mask on yourself first, then attend to your child and put the mask on them”

A lot of dads are on the extreme edges of the spectrum.  Some guys are so devoted to their families that they don’t make an effort to take care of themselves.  They let it all go.  This always ends up biting them in the ass in the long run.

And then there are the other dads who can’t get out of that “me first” mentality and still go out for drinks every night of the week, have poker night, football night, play pick-up ball twice per week, work late nights, go golfing on the weekend and only end up spending a couple of quality hours per week with their families.

The biggest challenge for us to find that balance where we can spend some time for ourselves (because that time helps us become better people – better dads), but not abuse that time so much that we don’t see our families.  full interview…

Tanveer Naseer

Alvin: Tell a story, name something that you’ve done or experienced that became your largest step to manhood?

Tanveer: I would say it was the moment my first daughter was born.  Holding her in my arms for the very first time, I realized that my life wasn’t going to be about just my wife and me, but about how to do right by this child who has entered into our lives.  We hear it a lot, but honestly having a child really does change your life and your perception of it; of what matters and what you should be doing with the time you have on this planet.  Nothing grounds you more in becoming a man than knowing you are responsible for the care and well-being of another.  full interview…

Eric Payne

Alvin: What do you like most about being a father?

Eric: What I enjoy most about being a father is being able to care, nurture and protect my kids.  This takes multiple forms.  I enjoy going to my son’s games.  I love reading with my daughter.  I love kissing and wiping away her tears when she has a boo boo.  I enjoy fighting on my son’s behalf at his school (he suffers from ADD).  No matter how draining this all can be at times I absolutely love it.  full interview…

Frederick Goodall

Alvin: In your opinion what does it mean to be a father today?

Frederick: Being a dad means being fully involved with your kids. Many dads rely on their wives to handle all the details of their children lives, but when they do this, they miss out on bonding opportunities. Kids grow up so fast and you have to take advantage of every moment. I try to spend as much time with my kids as I can because I don’t want to have any regrets when they are adults. Something as simple as reading a book together makes a huge difference in a child’s life.  full interview…

Tom Matlack

Alvin: What do you like most about being a father?  

Tom: That moment laying in bed with my 5 year old when I am half way through reading a book and I hear his breath deepen as he falls asleep next to me.  I could stay there all night.  To me its life at its very best.  With my older kids (who are 16 and 14 now) its when they come to me with a serious problem looking for advice.  Having heard pretty much every mistake that adults can make under the sun, I would like to believe that I have the ability to be a non-judgmental listener even for my kids. They know I am not going to preach to them.  I am not good enough to tell anyone how to be good, even them.  But I hope I can inspire them to find their own path.  full interview…

Bruce Sallan

Alvin: What activities do you enjoy most with your children?

Bruce: Naturally, they’ve changed with their interests and getting older.  When they were younger, all vacations were great, especially going to Hawaii.  I loved introducing them to rock ‘n’ roll and taking them to some terrific concerts.  My oldest is now doing the same for me, taking me (well, I still pay) to see his favorite artists as he’s grown into a very accomplished musician. My younger son finally grew to love my passion, skiing, and we have great trips going skiing together.  But, I really love our Friday night dinners the most.  We share our bests and worsts of the week and it’s a regular tradition and a consistent and invaluable family activity for us.  full interview…

Corey Allan

Alvin: What are your favorite activities you enjoy most with your children?

Corey: I have a daughter, age 5, and a son, age 3. What I love most is the times wrestling with both of them. Tackling, laughing, chasing. I also enjoy coloring with my daughter and playing trains and cars with my son. But nothing beats the connection I get when they’re climbing all over me in hopes of getting me to the ground.  full interview…

Joe Kelly

Alvin: In your opinion what does it mean to be a father today?

Joe: It means suiting up and showing up.  It means making peace with deep contradictions, like boldly asserting our responsibility to quietly nurture and comfort our children. It means examining “expected” gender roles with an open mind, looking for ways to unbind ourselves from gender straight jackets. It means having the courage to talk openly about our emotions and thoughts, and to actively identify and work to resolve problems as an equal member of the family. 

It means getting fully involved in the mundane activities of child-rearing—from changing poopy diapers to car-pooling teens—because it is while doing those mundane things that we build the relationship with our children and begin to experience the wonderful emotional, psychological and spiritual intimacy and connection that lies (too often, dormant) within each father-child relationship.  full interview…

Mark Levin

Alvin: In your opinion what does it mean to be a father today?

Mark: Fatherhood is Childhood, Round Two.  You get another shot at it, without any of the joy of discovery, but none of the pain of it either.  You get to see the world for a second time through young eyes.  You get to understand what love is on this whole level you never knew.  But let me warn you, being a father is very expensive.  full interview…

Elmo Moore

Alvin: What are your favorite activities you enjoy most with your son?

Elmo: Being a father of three boys, just about everything. We enjoy hunting, fishing, sports, and the list could go on forever. The most important thing to me is to encourage them each to follow their own interests.  So my favorite activity would be the one of their choosing.  full interview…

Kevin Smith

Alvin: What are your favorite activities you enjoy most with your children?

Kevin: Watching them. My kids are amazing. They understand that their existence on this globe doesn’t solely consist of seeing how many tickets they can accumulate at Chucky E Cheese. Both boys are very bright and are beginning to develop a love for chess at 7 & 8 years old. My wife and I laugh because I’m not a great chess player. I feel privileged to participate in their overall development. Our closest moments are when it’s just them and dad and we’re analyzing life. Why is that kid so bad daddy? Why doesn’t my friend have a dad? “Dad you said ‘stupid’ was a bad word, but I heard you use it.”  full interview…

Giacomo Knox

Alvin: In your opinion what does it mean to be a father today?

Giacomo: This is a tough question for me to answer, since modern society seems fit to dictate what a father is today.  While I’m not opposed to “Mr. Mom” or even helping out with the kids, I consider these things a way of strengthening the relationship with the mother.  Let’s be very honest, men are not physically or emotionally equipped to care for children on a full time basis. 

No matter what a father looks like or acts like “today”, one thing is for certain:  dads need to be PRESENT with a capital “P”.  Even if you remain married to your child’s mother, working 18 hours per day and coming home to a glass of bourbon and passing out on the sofa doesn’t cut it!  Dads need to get involved and be “Co-Executive Producer” of the family.  Above all things, dad needs to provide and not make excuses for lack.  Sometimes providing means cutting back or doing without.   full interview…

Wayne Levine

Alvin: In your opinion what does it mean to be a father today?

Wayne: To be a good father today, I believe, means what it has always meant. A father’s responsibility is to be an exemplary model of what it looks like to be a loving, respectful and committed man in a relationship. He’s to teach his daughter to look for a caring and protective mate by loving and cherishing her mother. A father teaches his children the importance of honor, integrity, humility and respect. He teaches them how to deal with challenges. He asks others for help when needed, especially when needed to properly mentor his children. He shows his kids how to work hard and how to enjoy life.  full interview…

Rick Johnson

Alvin: In your opinion what does it mean to be a father today?

Rick: It is tough being a father today.  There are so many distractions pulling at fathers and vying for their attention.  I think most of all what it means to be a father is to stay.  So many fathers today abandon their kids for a variety of reasons.  Research shows how critically important fathers are in the lives of their children.  None of us are perfect fathers but our presence alone is just good enough to be indispensable.  full interview…

Dr. Michael Kimmel

Alvin: What are your favorite activities that you enjoy most with your son?

Michael: I like the long walks and talks we have about every topic imaginable.  I like watching him shine — on the soccer or lacrosse field, on stage in a musical production, or just hanging out with his friends.  I love to make him laugh.  And I love watching him sleep.  full interview…

Dana H. Glazer

Alvin: Its 2013 what changes do you want to see with fatherhood?

Dana:  Fatherhood is a slowly evolving role – as much as I’d like it to be otherwise. Change must come from within and that takes time. What I do hope is that perhaps in the short term the US government will step up and join the rest of the industrialized nations of the world by offering paid parental leave. It won’t change hearts and minds but it can certainly support those changes when they are ready to happen.  full interview…


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