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Archive for the ‘Single Parenting’ Category

Redefining Father-Less

In Fatherless, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on January 17, 2019 at 6:47 pm

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I feel it is vitally important to redefine or simplify the meaning of Fatherless.  I know that may sound arrogant and over-reaching, but it is for a special purpose.  Throughout my day-to-day, I have learned there are too many fatherless people who do not identify as fatherless although they are.  It is one thing to have a definition in your mind and another as to how you use it in a sentence pertaining to your own life.

Webster’s dictionary defines Fatherless as having no father because he is dead or absent from the home.  The National Fatherhood Initiative has gone a bit further.

National Fatherhood Initiative Definitions of Fatherless:

  1. You are fatherless if you have never met your father.
  2. You are fatherless if your father does not live in the home with you and you have limited to no time with him.
  3. You are fatherless if your father has died.
  4. You are fatherless if your father lives in the home with you but is not emotionally engaged.

I know what you are thinking.  It should be easy to identify with one of the definitions.  True, but there are a few things at work.  Many people only have these definitions in their minds.  For most of you, this is the first time you are seeing the definitions written down.   For some reason, the leap from our heads to our hearts is not as easy of terrain to cross as we believe it should be. Using our lives in a sentence about fatherlessness is not ideal for most.  This is the moment where feelings begin to bubble up to the surface causing us to acknowledge or suppress long lost pain. And in truth, a couple of the definitions seem unfair if our dad was present in some capacity.

Fatherless children & Fatherless adults are saying, “I am not fatherless because I know who my father is.” Regardless of the fact as to whether they have a relationship with their father or not.  They do not even take into account how much time they desire to spend versus how time they actually spend with their fathers.  Fathers say, “My children are not fatherless. I am here fighting for them.  But, their mother won’t let me see them!” This is just one of the many conversations.

So for the sake of the conversation and even for the sake of healing someone today, let’s redefine or better yet simply the definition of fatherless. By simply breaking the word into the 2 words that make it up; Father and Less. Father-Less becomes an easier landscape.  Father-Less is simply having less time or not as much time as we desired or needed with our fathers for our psychological, emotional, and spiritual development.

Now when we look at this definition, how many of you could say, I might be Father-Less?  an example, maybe your father was a workaholic and his focus was providing for the family. No blame to dad.  However, not having the time wanted and needed tends to leave a scar on our hearts causing that scar to become the navigation of our lives in negative ways we very seldom recognize until it’s too late. Once again, no blame to our fathers who worked hard to give us great lives.  We just need to acknowledge we wanted and needed more time and now we have some hurt surrounding not having that time we must now heal.

This is your season for the healing you did not even know you needed.  The season for you to allow yourself to feel something you have not felt in a long time in order to obtain the healing for your life allowing you to go to the next level.

Take the time to journal or call a friend to talk through what you read and how you are feeling about it.

Dr. Torri J. Evans-Barton

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Confessions of a Fatherless Daughter

In Career, Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on December 4, 2018 at 4:04 pm

 

 

Daddyless Daughter

athomaspointofview.com

 

I never knew my father well. Time spent with him was always rare and brief. At the most, I could expect a card with a few dollars in it on holidays and birthdays. Over time, I got used to growing up without him. I stopped expecting him at birthday parties, graduations, and school events. I stopped waiting by the phone for promised calls that never came. I learned to tuck the sadness of missing him into my back pocket and push forward. My being surrounded by the presence of my mother, siblings, and family members as a child made it easy to tune out the heavy emotions that I felt towards my father. So, I got past it in childhood but I was not prepared for how it would affect me as a young adult.

The weight of my fatherlessness hit me the hardest when I got to college. Something about crossing over the threshold into adulthood, being away from home, and being all on my own brought all of those daddy issues to light. It wasn’t until then that I realized his absence had seeped into every aspect of my life.

It showed up when I met new friends but couldn’t bring myself to be vulnerable with them. It showed up in my academic life when I second guessed myself and what I brought to the table. It was present when I found myself judging every man I met as unreliable before getting to know them. My lack of financial and emotional support is tangible evidence of my fatherlessness. As an almost 20-year-old, I feel as though my fatherlessness has sent me into the world with no foundation.  I have had to learn to heal that little girl inside of me who just wanted her daddy around. If I didn’t, I would have begun to sabotage myself and my relationships as an adult.

My experience has made me realize that parents can sometimes underestimate the impact of their actions on their children. They can also overestimate their children’s ability to simply “get over it.” That is why healing as a child is so important. The trauma that is the result of fatherlessness will impact a child regardless of if they recognize it or not. It is trauma that will carry over well into adulthood if not healed correctly.

 

Taj’Zhere Dillard

Intern

The Fatherless Generation Foundation, Inc.

No More Tug-Of-War

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized, Youth Programs on August 30, 2013 at 6:20 pm

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Tug-Of-War has been taking place since ancient Egypt and it used to be an Olympic Sport. But what is the purpose of Tug-Of-War? According to Webster’s Dictionary Tug-of- War is a struggle for supremacy or control usually involving two antagonists; adversaries, opponents, or contenders.

Where am I going with this? How do two parents play “Tug-Of-War” with their child? I know things can get pretty complicated when two people decide to go their separate ways. And it can truly become UGLY when children are involved. BUT… I am puzzled by the idea that one parent feels the need to usurp authority… control over the other  through force by becoming their adversary and using the child as the “rope” by which they accomplish their goal. Yeah. It happens. Way too often.

In working with fatherless children through The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. I have encountered all aspects of fatherlessness. And we often see a child having no access to their biological father because of the inability of one parent to let go of their issues in order to allow the other a fair chance to build their own relationship.

Have you ever seen an actual tug-of-war competition? It is a brutal game where the opponents can get rope burn or even worse.  Cbsnews.com says, “It may be a childhood game, but tug-of-war injuries can be serious and lead to permanent consequences.” So what happens when the “rope” you are using is your child? You find yourself wrapping your hands around them, tying knots, or entangle yourself to them in a very dysfunctional way to secure your grip. BUT… when you wrap your hands around, tie knots, or even entangle yourself, you place all at risk to lose a finger, hand, or even dislocate parts of their body.  YOU CREATE PERMANENT CONSEQUENCES FOR ALL INVOLVED!  Once the “rope” snaps, all are truly able to see the trauma inflicted upon it. Oh… and believe you me… the “rope” will eventually snap due to all of the tension being place upon it!

So why do this? The relationship is over. We get that. But is the life of your child worth so little you would use them as the tool by which you attempt to control and destroy another persons life? Think long and hard before you answer. Because it is easy to say “No. My child is worth everything to me.” Many even use their love for their children as their reason for playing this dangerous game of Tug-Of-War. But today is the day you begin to declare by your actions… “NO MORE TUG-OF-WAR!”

“Why Did My Daddy Leave?” European Tour

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized, Youth Programs on March 21, 2013 at 4:11 am

WDMDL Europe Flyer

“Why Did My Daddy Leave?” is a panel discussion designed to answer the questions on the hearts of many fatherless children… ‘Why did my father leave and why didn’t he come back?’

The difference in this discussion is, we are talking to the men… the fathers themselves!

The host and moderator of this tour is Ms. Torri J. Evans; the Founder & CEO of The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. with panelist Mr. Reco McDaniel, Mr. Yahanseh George, Mr. Daniel Blackman and an additional celebrity, politicians, and athletes panelist from each city.

“Why Did My Daddy Leave?” panel discussion tour is from March 29 – April 11, 2013 going to London, Lisbon, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Oslo, Reykjavik

For more details go to http://www.tfgf.org Twitter: #WDMDLEurope

Giving Fatherless Children Hope

In Fatherless, Single Parenting, Youth Programs on March 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc.’s mission is to reunite fathers and their children by providing the resources and services that strengthen,support,and sustain the growth of family values and relationships.

Over 24 Million individuals in the United States who have grown up fatherless attaching a copious of negative stigmas to life’s journey. And with countless stories of struggle continuously emerging amid the fatherless epidemic, thanks to the generous giving of so many people, The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. is able to be the solution to this social issue. TFGF has been able to reunite 37 absent fathers with their children, provide resources and services that strengthen, support, and sustain a commitment to fatherhood to over 1300 children and instilling family values through our Husband & Wife Mentoring Teams to 167 children.

This is what they children are saying about the work we are doing with them 

But there is so much work yet to be done and we need your help!  Click link to support our Mission https://fundrazr.com/campaign…

Our programs and services:
*Commitment to Fatherhood
*Peer Groups
*Husband & Wife Mentor Teams
*Tutoring for Middle School Students

Make a donation NOW to The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc. https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/9OOic

Having an Identity Crisis?

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on November 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Am I Having an Identity Crisis?

“The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose” – Richard R. Grant

Your identity is so much more than your appearance. Your true identity is the depth of who you are as an individual. And what so many don’t seem to accept is the concept that our identity is  intended to be found in our fathers.  But what happens when our father is absent? When he has abandoned us and our mother’s to fend for ourselves in every way? Many have what has been coined as an identity crisis!!!

The term “Identity Crisis” was coined by Erik Erikson. His definition of the term is, “the failure to achieve ego identity during adolescence.” Erikson also states, “During our adolescence we are faced with physical growth, sexual maturation, and integrating our ideas of ourselves and about what others think of us. We therefore form our self-image and endure the task of resolving the crisis of our basic ego identity.”

They say when you grasp a strong sense of identity in your adolescence you are well equipped and prepared for adulthood, possessing a strong sence of confidence and certainty.   But what happens when this doesn’t happen? It opens the door for insecurity, lack of self-worth, unbelief, mistrust, abandonment and a list of many other negatives ideologies leading us on a uncertain path in life. Erikson even believes an identity crisis negates the mechanism for fidelity: known to encompass sincerity, genuineness and a sense of duty in our relationships with other people!

Through my work with The Fatherless Generation Foundation Inc.  I have learned the importance of identity and how it is connected to the fatherless and their inability to navigate through life as well as finding their purpose successfully.  Not to say the fatherless cannot find success, but their navigation at times is off balance due to an uncalibrated compass. The compass of life is a tool both parents play a significant role in building and then calibrating. And when your compass is only built and calibrated by one parent, your compass is one sided and leads you in circles. Erikson states, “They may go on to seek a negative identity, which may involve crime or drugs or the inability to make defining choices about the future.”  A life that leads you in circles is what we readily call “Repeating the Cycle!”

The real question is how do you overcome your identity crisis if you are having one? How do you break the cycle and get off the “Merry Go Round?” The clear answer is… FIND YOUR IDENTITY and when you find your identity it will lead you to your purpose!

Some steps to finding your identity….

  1. Find Your Authentic Self by Listening to Your Gut: This requires silence and you learning to trust yourself
  2. Never Lose Track of Your Goals & Dreams: No dream is foolish. Put goals in place so your dream can be accomplished
  3. Express Your True Feelings… Stop Surpressing How You Truly Feel: You can’t tell everyone everything so learn to journal
  4. Learn to Say NO without Feeling Guilty or Ashamed: Guilt and Shame are intended to keep you on the Merry Go Round
  5. Learn to Take Risks: Calculated Risks ONLY

When you crack your identity code…. the contours of your life will shift!

The Occupy Movement has Hit The Boys & Girls Club

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized, Youth Programs on September 20, 2012 at 8:34 pm

The Occupy Movement has hit The Boys & Girls Club!!!

Night before as I prepare for bed, I couldn’t help but to have a HUGE smile on my face.  Monday was intended to be our first day back at The Boys & Girls Clubs with FGF Peer Groups.  But, when I walked in the door and grab my list… only 3 kids seemed to qualify for FGF Peer Groups. I was unsure of what to make of it. As I walked into the club, kids from ALL age groups ran up to me and hugged me. But after the joyous greeting they had a serious issue with me. They were all yelling at once… “Ms. Torri, why aren’t we able to be in your group. THAT ISN’T FAIR!” I let them know it was not my decision to only allow 3rd-5th graders this quarter. It was on the Education Director.

Before I knew it there were 15 girls in the Education Director’s office waiting on her. As soon as she walked in they started yelling out their complaint. Lets just say… the Education Director didn’t appreciate it and put them all out of her office with the quickness!  They all left with their heads low, but they were determined and that would not be the end of the issue.

While hanging out with them in the Learning Center they were still expressing their complaint loud and clear. One girl said… “I have been with you for 2 years. What is up with that Ms. Torri?” I told them I had not control over it. They would have to figure out how to overcome the obstacle or deal with it until next semester.

I walked away and went into another room. By the time I had come back, this group of 6th-7th grade girls had huddled and put a strategic plan in place. They sent one person in to represent their issues to the Executive Director over the entire club. They went straight to the TOP! By the time they had come out… the Executive Director had given me clearance to do what I wanted concerning the Peer Group.

Immediately I got with the Education Director and we made an extreme compromise. We would host 3rd-5th and 6th-8th graders at the same time in a different room. 2 groups at one time!

No doubt I compromised so the kids could have their Peer Groups. I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do!

A Life Without Daddy

In Fatherless, Lifestyle, Single Parenting, Uncategorized on September 8, 2012 at 1:32 am

Back in April of this year, I was blessed to have  a small portion of my fatherless journey published in Jet Magazine.  I can admit, initially this article caused some conflict within my own family. Some felt like I had “aired my dirty laundry!” Others felt I did not paint my mother in a favorable light. What I know to be true is, this article was not easy to have written and then be published. But this article brought my mother and I closer together as we both were able to deal with the truth of my fatherless experience…. this article brought healing to my family!

It is time for the fatherless to tell their stories of “Life Without Daddy!” Who is with me?

READ my story “Decades Without Daddy” on page 17 here http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/publication/?i=104545