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My Father’s Eyes

Seeing Life Differently Now

By Lashawn Hudson Summer Intern (The Atlanta Voice) | 6/14/2013, 9:32 a.m.
When I was a little girl, I use to enjoy drawing pictures of my imaginary family. Maybe “imaginary” isn’t the ...
Leonardo Simpkins (father) & Lashawn Hudson (daughter).

Our story isn’t that uncommon. Too many African American children grow up drawing imaginative pictures; long for their fathers’ love. Too many find negative substitutions for daddy’s absence. Too few enjoy a happy ending like mine.

African American families have the highest fatherless household rate in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America -- one out of three -- live in biological father-absent homes. Nearly 64 percent African American children live in father-absent homes. Several studies show that 72 percent of blacks live in a household where the mother is not married.

Those that are affected by the fatherless epidemic sometimes don’t meet their father until they’re adults. And when they do meet him, they struggle with maintaining a relationship. Below is a list of helpful tips that I have used to establish a healthy relationship with my father.

Forgive yourself and your father for not being part of each others’ lives.

Don’t focus on what did or didn’t happen in the past. Focus on the present and future.

Approach the relationship with an open mind. Don’t pass judgment.

Get to know your father and his family. Schedule family outings.

Love and respect your father.

Incorporate whoever your God is in the relationship.

Celebrate and enjoy the journey of getting to know your father.

In conclusion, I hope that my story inspires others to build or rebuild their relationship with their fathers. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!