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I expect the fathers among us to chime in with some positive perspective, but for some time now, I've had this concern. In life, I've seen situations wherein brothers aren't really there for their children, or aren't taking care of them, etc. We all know about that. Of course, we also see many of us out there taking care of their kids, and being in their kids' lives.

Some time ago, I was listening to a talk show about this subject on the radio. All of the dads who called in were the "good men," the ones who are there for their kids even though they're not still involved with the mothers. But something disturbed me a bit...

Every single last one of these guys said that they were in their kids' lives out of some sense of responsibility or obligation. It was always something like, "My son needs me, so I'm there for him. I have a responsibility to him, so I make sure I fulfill that responsibility."

There were a lot of guys saying that, but none of them said anything like what the mothers probably would have said, namely, "I love my child and I could never bear to be apart from him. He's my everything, so I make sure he's first in my life."

Do you see the distinction? In other words, it's like the "good dads" don't really feel they need their children; it's just a "responsibility" they have. All these "good dads" need to do is lose their sense of responsibility; their altruistic sense of purpose for their kids, and they could vanish from the children's lives just like the absentee fathers.

Can some of the dads on this site help me out with this? Do the bulk of us honestly lack the ability to feel the emotions necessary to "need" our children they way they need us? Or is the statement of the "responsibility" rationale just a result of men's inability to express our feelings? If so, what explains the ease with which so many of us can just go on living and existing without our kids being in our lives?

I have no children. But I didn't have much of a father either, so it matters to me.
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I for one LOVE LOVE LOVE my son.

I don't think the men love their children any less then mothers. I think it maybe a gender issue. I think a man feels that the HIS primary focus or purpose is to "be there" and to be "responsible fathers" to "take care of things" as opposed to the all to often examples of dead beat fathers. A mother's primary focus is to nurture and LOVE their children. You also have to remember as you stated, many times a father is not at home with his children do to divorce or issues with the mother. Many men understand that this is how things are so crying over not having them with them all the time is pointless.

To many times the adults allow their hurt and hate to rule their better judgment. Many times these men are not in their child's life because of baby-mama-drama. Women can be vindictive if you haven't heard.

And men can be petty. To often they shirk their responsibilities because of anger and resentment towards the mother.
quote:
I don't think the men love their children any less then mothers. I think it maybe a gender issue. I think a man feels that the HIS primary focus or purpose is to "be there" and to be "responsible fathers" to "take care of things" as opposed to the all to often examples of dead beat fathers. A mother's primary focus is to nurture and LOVE their children.

tfro
And more, men for the most part are conditioned not to discuss emotions, i.e., love.
As you know Vox, most of my clients are men and all have children. My clients, while wanting nothing to do with the mothers of thier children are totally devoted to thier children,with out distinction between sons or daughters.

I think that the father responsibliy thing is for fathers of our generation, men in their 50s, 60s and 70 now. Our generation of dads 30 and 40 somethings are into thier kids. At least that is my experience.
The other day I was in a sporting goods store and I saw these two brothers shopping for a bike. I overheard one of them say: "I want to get him a bike that is not to heavy... the one he has now is too heavy for him..." It wasn't so much what he said, but how he said it. There was a sense of urgency and joy in his voice at the same time - as though if he did not accomplish this task, he would not be a man.

Maybe I am reading too much into what I heard, but it sure sounded as if there was a lot of love for the child.

Men (especially in my family) have a tendency to not express emotion, you know that they love you, but you will never hear it...
Maybe you can point me in the right direction. An in-law that has had some run ins with the law is having issues regarding his child support.

Seems like he is trying to do right but things seems stacked against him. They took his drivers license so finding a job difficult. He was locked up for not payin due to losing his job and the "deal" they gave him was if he would agree to pay double what he was already paying.

He's going to school, trying to find steady work and is stressed at possibly going back to jail in Jan. He needs legal help and the court appointed ones are not working out.

Are there any placea he can go in the D.C, MD, VA area? Keep in mind he has no money.
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Maybe you can point me in the right direction. An in-law that has had some run ins with the law is having issues regarding his child support.

Seems like he is trying to do right but things seems stacked against him. They took his drivers license so finding a job difficult. He was locked up for not payin due to losing his job and the "deal" they gave him was if he would agree to pay double what he was already paying.

He's going to school, trying to find steady work and is stressed at possibly going back to jail in Jan. He needs legal help and the court appointed ones are not working out.

Are there any placea he can go in the D.C, MD, VA area? Keep in mind he has no money.


Then he unfortunately is SOL, without money he cannot pay for representation. Public Defenders generally are very good attorneys, they are just realistic about what they can do for thier cleints. The reason private counsel seem to work miracles is because you tell the client to pay off the debt and then thier legal problems tend to disapate.

I am not admitted in MD or VA, I am admitted in D.C. but have never used my liscense there. So I will not pretend to know the law there, but .... Basically, if your in-law was in Jersey, he needs to find a job with a quickness, or go back to jail. The problem is that he:

a- did not pay Baby-mamma voluntarily, usually women back off if they are paid.

b. Baby-mamma was on public assistance and the Gubment wants the Tax Payers money, so they go after him while she is set up in an apartment and gets foodstamps, chance for education and job skill traning. Money has to come from some where, he made the baby he has to pay for the baby.

c.he started paying as ordered and then said fuck it, I ain't paying, it continued to accure and now he owes like 20k or more. Again, baby needs food, clothing and shelter, Daddy needs to pay up or sit in jail until he gets the idea.

In Jersey they only put you in jail if you owe more than six months worth of support. They will put you in jail at night and you have to go look for a job during the day or go to work during the day. Usually, the daddy some how finds enough money to pay up about 20% to 25% of the amount he owes. They they double the payment, part regular and part arrears until he pays it off.

If you don't want your family member to go to jail, give him about 20% go with him to court to post it at the hearing, you give up the money only to the court and that should solve his going to jail problem, it would in Jersey.
On the original topic:

In modern U.S. culture ALL MEN, regardless of color , are conditioned to be conservative in the expressing of emotion. This very strongly applies to displays of affection. My family had no problem with "I love you." Males and females said this with no issue...but in the larger community the semantics were incompatible with the culture"”I have had sisters ask me if I were gay, because I told my own brother that I loved him. (My actual brother.) Yet, I speak of Detroit...it takes great courage and strength to that which is out of the norm.

Yes, most men love their kids"”we're just taught to demonstrate that love through deeds, instead of words.
quote:
Originally posted by thayfen:
In modern U.S. culture ALL MEN, regardless of color, are conditioned to be conservative in the expressing of emotion. This very strongly applies to displays of affection.


I disagree. All men do not behave in an unresponsive manner. This stoic and emotionally-detached behavior is in fact adopted through socialization. Some historians have discovered that African-American men, in particular, have adopted an unresponsive and emotionally-detached disposition as a coping mechanism against the brutalities of slavery. Because African men during slavery were at risk of losing their families, their wives and daughters raped, and sons sold away, they developed a coping mechanism that would help them to deal with the reality of their situation. By not becoming too attached and emotionally-dependent upon their families was a way for them to maintain their sanity. Some researchers argue that this coping mechanism is what plagues Black men today. Researchers believe that by supporting Black men and helping them to not view love and emotional attachment as a risk that this will help them to reconnect with their families.
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But in fairness, Row, we occasionally hear stories about a white man transporting his baby somewhere in the car, forgot the baby was there, and drove to work, leaving the baby in the car to die from the heat.

I think what people have said in this thread, about men simply failing to EXPRESS their love, is a good point. And we do see an abundance of love, as demonstrated on this thread (^5, MidLifeMan, Gambit!). On the other hand, I wonder if there's something to be said for the trauma of enslavement and its impact on this. When I started the thread, I wasn't thinking of any racial distinctions. But if men's tendency to be less expressive of our feelings has ANY impact on how some fathers treat their kids, I would have to wonder if black men in particular get that issue amplified by the stresses we get passed on to us. But all in all, I think this thread has left me feeling a little better about the issue.
quote:
Originally posted by AudioGuy:
The other day I was in a sporting goods store and I saw these two brothers shopping for a bike. I overheard one of them say: "I want to get him a bike that is not to heavy... the one he has now is too heavy for him..." It wasn't so much what he said, but how he said it. There was a sense of urgency and joy in his voice at the same time - as though if he did not accomplish this task, he would not be a man.

Maybe I am reading too much into what I heard, but it sure sounded as if there was a lot of love for the child.


Hehe. That's how my brothers are.

One freaked out once because I think a bike was too orange.

That's a little loopy, but it was his baby's first big girl bike and everything had to be perfect.

Their tone of voice make the little things sound so dire.

Come to think of it, my father does the same sort of thing.

It's good fodder for cracking jokes at them, but it really is a comforting I love you.
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by thayfen:
In modern U.S. culture ALL MEN, regardless of color, are conditioned to be conservative in the expressing of emotion. This very strongly applies to displays of affection.


If this were true Thayfen, then please explain why one is more likely to see White couples showing public displays of affection than people representing other groups? Also, explain why one is more likely to see White fathers carrying out tasks that are commonly viewed as "women's duties" by men representing other races (e.g., preparing baby food, strolling the baby carriage, changing diapers, kissing the baby in public, whisking the child into air, and talking baby talk with child). These are the kinds of activities that men in other races would probably characterize as effeminate. Therefore, I think I would have disagree with your generalization of men. All men do not behave in a unresponsive manner, and in fact this stoic and emotionally-detached behavior is adopted through socialization. It is learned. Some historians have discovered that African American men, in particular have adopted a unresponsive and emotionally-detached disposition as a coping mechanism against the brutalities of slavery. Because African men during slavery were at risk of losing their entire family, their wives and daughters raped, and sons sold away, they developed a coping mechanism that would help them deal with the reality of their situation. By not becoming too attached and emotionally-dependent on their families and loved ones was a way for thenm to maintain their sanity. Some researchers argue that this coping mechanism is what plagues Black men today. They believe that by supporting Black men and helping to not view love and emotional attachment as a risk will contribute toward solving communal problems and re-connect them to Black women and families.


My goodness... this is a great topic! By the way, I think both Thayfen and Rowe are right. But I think Thayfen's statement is perhaps more true (when applied to whites) of baby boomers. Younger white boomers and the generation that followed seem very liberal in child rearing.

I'll share some of my own experiences. If you're my age (30-something), growing up, how often did we see affection between black people in the media? I swear, I don't quite remember how old I was before I realized that black people kiss too! And my own family didn't show much affection. We didn't hug growing up or say things like "I love you."

It's only been in recent years that I've started hugging my mom. When she started doing this I was already grown. I was in shock and wondering if she was dying or something. Eek But we're cool about it now and it seems more natural.

Not to start any controversy or anything, but it's been in dating white women that I've slowly learned to be more outwardly affectionate. At first I was like "What? You've got to be kidding me?" but I've become more comfortable with PDAs and expressing my feelings through them. I've been "trained" so to speak... but I also find I enjoy it and feel liberated. As I've grown older, I've become more in touch with how I feel. I've beeen able to bring these things into my relationships with black women now. And that has been a REALLY wonderful thing.

I remember growing up, the attitude was that it didn't matter how you felt. Certain things had to be done. Sacrifices made. You gotta be on top of things. And the only emotion we showed was anger.

I don't have kids, but I do have nieces and a nephew. I would straight up die for those kids. And I make a point of showing affection to them.

PS: And like so many black men, I have a very distant relationship with my own father Frown

I'm determined that when I have kids things will be different. Smile
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
Some historians have discovered that African American men, in particular have adopted a unresponsive and emotionally-detached disposition as a coping mechanism against the brutalities of slavery. Because African men during slavery were at risk of losing their entire family, their wives and daughters raped, and sons sold away, they developed a coping mechanism that would help them deal with the reality of their situation. By not becoming too attached and emotionally-dependent on their families and loved ones was a way for thenm to maintain their sanity. Some researchers argue that this coping mechanism is what plagues Black men today. They believe that by supporting Black men and helping to not view love and emotional attachment as a risk will contribute toward solving communal problems and re-connect them to Black women and families.

Thank you, Sister Rowe. You just brought many things into perspective for me.

I have often wondered why there seems to be so much more lack of fatherly responsibility among our people, than there is among everyone else. I could never relate, because my family displays none of this. You just threw a switch in my brain. I can't thank you enough for that. thanks
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I'll share some of my own experiences. If you're my age (30-something), growing up, how often did we see affection between black people in the media? I swear, I don't quite remember how old I was before I realized that black people kiss too! And my own family didn't show much affection. We didn't hug growing up or say things like "I love you." It's only been in recent years that I've started hugging my mom. When she started doing this I was already grown. I was in shock and wondering if she was dying or something. And like so many black men, I have a very distant relationship with my own father Frown I'm determined that when I have kids things will be different. Smile


Good for you! Smile Whew. Reading these old posts is like going back in time. I saw so many typos and mistakes in grammar in my statement that its embarressing (I had to go back and do a lot of editing). But I think its great that through relationships with others you've learned the value of giving and accepting affection.
quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:
Thank you, Sister Rowe. You just brought many things into perspective for me. I have often wondered why there seems to be so much more lack of fatherly responsibility among our people, than there is among everyone else. I could never relate, because my family displays none of this. You just threw a switch in my brain. I can't thank you enough for that. thanks


You're welcome! I was always disappointed that this discussion did not last as long as I thought it should have. Frown
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by thayfen:
In modern U.S. culture ALL MEN, regardless of color, are conditioned to be conservative in the expressing of emotion. This very strongly applies to displays of affection.


I disagree. All men do not behave in an unresponsive manner. This stoic and emotionally-detached behavior is in fact adopted through socialization. Some historians have discovered that African-American men, in particular, have adopted an unresponsive and emotionally-detached disposition as a coping mechanism against the brutalities of slavery. Because African men during slavery were at risk of losing their families, their wives and daughters raped, and sons sold away, they developed a coping mechanism that would help them to deal with the reality of their situation. By not becoming too attached and emotionally-dependent upon their families was a way for them to maintain their sanity. Some researchers argue that this coping mechanism is what plagues Black men today. Researchers believe that by supporting Black men and helping them to not view love and emotional attachment as a risk that this will help them to reconnect with their families.


Rowe, do you still believe this? And if so, do you think it's possible that the same conditions which have shaped/limited how black men express their emotions have also shaped black women's expectations of men? If so, how?
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
Rowe, do you still believe this? And if so, do you think it's possible that the same conditions which have shaped/limited how black men express their emotions have also shaped black women's expectations of men? If so, how?


I Don't Need A Man Because I've Never Known What It's Like To Have One!

Great question. The answer to your question is yes. Even today, I still believe that the tradegies of slavery continue to have a negative impact on African-American relationships. Perhaps due to the their experiences as women who had very little, if any, control over their futures, African-American women have learned not to become reliant upon Black men or to enjoy the advantages of being in long-term relationships. Black women may have even learned to distrust the abilities of Black men, to have lowered expections of them, and to fear and abhor their presence as much as Whites do. And so I think it is very important that in studying the experiences of Black people that researchers make connections between what is going on with Black people today and what happened to them in the past.
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quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
Rowe, do you still believe this? And if so, do you think it's possible that the same conditions which have shaped/limited how black men express their emotions have also shaped black women's expectations of men? If so, how?


I Don't Need A Man Because I've Never Known What It's Like To Have One!

Great question. The answer to your question is yes. Even today, I still believe that the tradegies of slavery continue to have a negative impact on African-American relationships. Perhaps due to the their experiences as women who had very little, if any, control over their futures, African-American women have learned not to become reliant upon Black men or to enjoy the advantages of being in long-term relationships. Black women may have even learned to distrust the abilities of Black men, to have lowered expections of them, and to fear and abhor their presence as much as Whites do. And so I think it is very important that in studying the experiences of Black people that researchers make connections between what is going on with Black people today and what happened to them in the past.



And whether we like it or not, women's expectations of men seem to be tied to their relationship with their fathers.

I've dated black women who had fathers in their lives growing up and who loved their fathers - so it wasn't even a case of an absent man - but if the father was emotionally distant somehow then that factored into their expectations of me. In fact, this is one thing that I like to learn about a woman early on in a relationship. How she relates to her father.
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
I've dated black women who had fathers in their lives growing up and who loved their fathers - so it wasn't even a case of an absent man - but if the father was emotionally distant somehow then that factored into their expectations of me. In fact, this is one thing that I like to learn about a woman early on in a relationship. How she relates to her father.


Good idea. The first relationship that a woman has with a man is with her father.
Of course "fathers" love their children. men who just produce children may or may not; there's a difference.

As a divorced father (of 2 girls) it's still my job, and my honor, to love and protect them, share with them what they mean to me and set a foundation for who they can become.

if it's true that women look for their fathers in their men, then I pray that I'm showing my 2 how a strong, black man conducts himself, and what they ought to expect, accept/not accept in who they choose to deal with (mmmmuuuch later, that is, when I choose to let them date.)
quote:
Originally posted by TruthSeeker:
Of course "fathers" love their children. men who just produce children may or may not; there's a difference.

As a divorced father (of 2 girls) it's still my job, and my honor, to love and protect them, share with them what they mean to me and set a foundation for who they can become.

if it's true that women look for their fathers in their men, then I pray that I'm showing my 2 how a strong, black man conducts himself, and what they ought to expect, accept/not accept in who they choose to deal with (mmmmuuuch later, that is, when I choose to let them date.)


^^ This is beautiful...
quote:
African-American women have learned not to become reliant upon Black men or to enjoy the advantages of being in long-term relationships. Black women may have even learned to distrust the abilities of Black men, to have lowered expections of them, and to fear and abhor their presence as much as Whites do. And so I think it is very important that in studying the experiences of Black people that researchers make connections between what is going on with Black people today and what happened to them in the past.

yeah
quote:
Originally posted by Rowe:
African-American women have learned not to become reliant upon Black men or to enjoy the advantages of being in long-term relationships. Black women may have even learned to distrust the abilities of Black men, to have lowered expections of them, and to fear and abhor their presence as much as Whites do. And so I think it is very important that in studying the experiences of Black people that researchers make connections between what is going on with Black people today and what happened to them in the past.


yeah



Kai

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