CSD Saying Happy Father’s Day With Never Released Before Content

First, Happy Father’s Day to all my CSDs out there!

You know, it seems just like yesterday. The years I spent as a single-dad when my son was between 10-15 years old were the worst compared to the other 13 years. During this time period, I was struggling financially and trying to finish school to earn my degree, with the hope of coming up in this land of milk-n-honey. I was also trying to provide for my other children that were being born with my wife and also going to work at various places meant days that never ended and stress that felt like I was carrying a weight 24/7.

My poor sociology teacher had to read all about my struggles, as I poured my heart out in essay after essay. My son was at an age where he could choose (he was not given that “right” by me, but by his mom and the court) whether he wanted to come over to my home or not, and oftentimes for various reasons, he would not. Perhaps the ultimate knife in my chest was when he told the referee that he did not want to come to my home, as there were too many rules, he did not have fun and all we did was go over his grandparent’s house. My heart stopped beating that day in the court room, as I was fighting to maintain the visitation rights that I fought for when he was just a baby. I thought, “And this is how I get paid back?” “I’m being treated worse than Cain who said, ‘It ain’t mine’ and bounced. For those who have seen Menace To Society, they know what I’m talking about.

But it was all of those experiences that moved me to create this blog years later.

The essay below was one that I wrote in 2001 for my Social Science Theory class. My superb professor had us all develop a theory by the end of the semester, as she knew that social and psychological theories that change the world are not only born when you have a Ph.D.. So it is in the environment above that I have described, that my Alliance Theory was born. When I performed my research for the paper (yes, done without the internet and we had just got a computer for me to type this on), I learned that my theory had basically been previously presented and was known as Parental Alienation Syndrome.

I’ve never shared this publicly, and I’m posting pictures of the essay until I can type a more recent edition. Therefore, you get to see all of my grammar mistakes, the faded paper, etc.. But I wanted to share this on Father’s Day to once again encourage those of you struggling as well. You may not get to see your son or daughter today, as they may choose (or the mother may choose for them) to spend it with a new guy, with mommy or a step-father instead.

I know it hurts. It hurts to watch you and your child’s relationship melt and you seem to be the only one that cares. You know your child has no idea the impact that this is going to have in his or her life. But you hang in there. Never give up and cry to yourself if necessary. Emotions usually spring forth in the only way society allows men to grieve, and that’s through anger and violence. But you probably know that when you lose control in those arguments, you lose. She can just pick up her “toys” if you will, and go home. You look like the bad-guy, and to your child, you are that bad guy. Why? Read the essay below.

Make today a special day for yourself. It’s special because you are still there, whether your son or daughter understands right now or not.

Now this was written 14 years ago, but what do you think? How has your life experience been and does this theory fit your situation? Let me know in the comments below or email me.

So again, if that phone doesn’t ring or no one comes to visit, you at least get a heart felt Happy Father’s Day from CSD my man, and may God bless you.

Peace.

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Single Dad’s, Today Is Now

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Tonight I was talking to a young man who’s about to be a father and wonders if his life is over. May I encourage all of you single dads that actually, your life has just begun. If you think you’ve never accomplished anything in school, at work, or wherever…now you can. If you didn’t have a father in your life, now you can show your child what it’s really like to have one. What can seem like something that has destroyed your life, can be what saves your life. If you’ve been living that “do-nothin” life in this country, they have a cell and/or grave waiting for you. But your child can give you something to set that alarm clock for in the morning. Someone to make you say, “Nah, I’m not going there or doing that…”. Someone that you can put your legacy and values on FOREVER. You will never do that at a job, never do that at a school, but you have an opportunity to do that in your child’s life…and that’s why God allowed YOU to be a father. Everybody else in your life may have said, and may still say, “That ___ isn’t ever going to do anything with their life.” But one day you’ll realize that other people’s opinions don’t pay your child support, hold your kid’s hand, teach them how to catch, or touch you in ways that will have you in tears like you’re the baby. You fellas get up in the morning knowing that you got something to live for, and die for, and be thankful not sorry, that your life will never be the same.

This Video Summarizes Why I Started CornerstoneDad

I’ve never met this brother.

I’d like to though.

In 4-minutes, he broke down a struggle that I had known for many, many years.

What he said was not very profound, for it is a story that many of us know so too well.

But it is profound, because he put it together in a poetic way, unleashing the pain, sadness, desire and compassion that only a father on the outside can feel.

Prentice Powell, keep spreading your message man, because brothers like us see every Father’s Day in a unique way.

We also know that our metric of a good father is not defined by our son’s mother, our friends, or the judge in a courtroom, but by that person we see in the mirror. That’s what makes us fight.

CSD

CornerstoneDad Podcast #13 – Is Purity A Realistic or Idealistic Goal For Kids Today? Panel Discussion With The Family

WeAreFamily

This Is It!

This podcast is guaranteed to make my “Best of” show one day! I’m finally pleased to post part one of this terrific hot-mic discussion that I had with my wife, mother, sister, son, and his friend. Folks, this is our family and this is how we often talk when we get together, so consider it a “reality-show podcast”.

This is part one of our discussion, so in this episode we discuss:

Is purity even a realistic goal for young people to have in today’s society?

Is the current generation less pure than the baby-boomer generation?

Do women really give thought to the kind of father that they want for their children before laying down with a man?

Warning: Parental discretion is advised. I understand that some may not have talked to their children about sex or many of the subjects that we are going to discuss. Therefore, listen first, and determine if it’s age appropriate for your family. 

Your feedback is appreciated, so hit me up in the comment section or at the usual spots:

  • Facebook: CornerstoneDad
  • Twitter: CornerstoneDad

Click HERE to listen to Episode #13.

CornerstoneDad Podcast #12 – Say Your Love, Show Your Love!

Catching up after a long break! We talk about where I’ve been and what’s been going on.

Plus:

– Life Action Summit and what it has done for me.

– Which comes first, the sports our kids play or the family?

– Best CSD Driveway EVER…Gullwing, CTS-V, Vette and GT-R!

– Main Topic – Do you tell and show your kids that you love them?

Plus, I wonder why a kid sporting $400 LeBron James gym shoes…is riding the bus!

Check out the podcast by clicking HERE-PODCAST #12

 

Terrell Owens vs. TO; You vs. Your Inner TO – Who Wins In The End?

A friend of mine shot this story to me on TO, or Terrell Owens, or ah, I don’t know…

http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201201/terrell-owens-gq-jeremiah-trotter-told-me-not-apologize-donovan-mcnabb

I just know he’s the guy that dropped the classic line, “I love me some me!” and had the great pom-pom end zone celebration that seemed much less rehearsed than the weak Sharpie-in-the-sock celebration pulled in Seattle in 2002.

Yes, it’s been that long. Hard to believe, but the San Francisco 49ers finally eclipsed the success they had when TO was there this season, as he departed the team in 2003. Back in 1999, there was Terrell Owens, a receiver that looked like he could re-write the record books and quite honestly, he eased the pain of Jerry Rice leaving for 49er fans as his talent seemed limitless. He was in perfect shape, 6’3 220+lbs, with deep-speed where DB’s could hang with him from 0-40 yards but post-40, “bye-bye”.

But then TO was born.

Obviously TO had a lot of fun. The article states that the he earned over $80,000,000 (1). That number is not a typo. However, now Terrell Owens finds himself “broke” (dude’s apartment is still the size of my house plus he’s in L.A., and I have 6 people with me) after suffering a knee injury without a contract, at 38-years old, with big child-support payments. Turns out that TO made a ton of bad business investments and even blames agent Drew Rosenhaus for not protecting him. Over the years, TO has always blamed a lot of people for a lot of things. I just watch the ESPN-tabloid so I don’t know what’s true.

But who’s to blame for this four kids by different mothers? The article states,

Now he is in court with all four women, whom he lumps together like one big bloodsucking blob. None of them are being fair, he says: “They know I’m not working; they know the deal.” Although he never established regular visitation with any of the children through the courts, he says he sees the eldest three as much as he can when their mothers allow it. So bitter is his relationship with the mother of the youngest child, a son, that he has never met the boy. (1)

Now, before I continue on, you may ask, “Who am I to judge?” Well, I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to seek a child support reduction, have a tenuous relationship with my son’s mother and fight for visitation. I didn’t make $80 million dollars, I was making a few hundred dollars every two weeks, worried about the lights getting shut-off, and had to take out a zillion dollars in student loans just to go back to school and re-invent myself because I didn’t want my son working side-by-side with me when he turned 16 years old. So yes, I’ve been there TO.

But TO, you need to start fighting to see your kids, and not just “when their mothers allow it” and you need to find a way to be a dad to the youngest you are yet to meet.

Any other single-dad that’s reading this, let me tell you that you fight. You continue to fight. You never stop fighting. Amazing that a fool is willing to fight and kill over stepping on his Jordans, but will hide like a mouse from our own children. This is not because we don’t care, but because we’re scared.

Scared of confrontation.

Scared of our own emotions and how they make us vulnerable.

Scared of losing because we are not in control of the situation.

But you call yourself “Hard”?

How well do you fight your inner-TO?

I often hear Terrell Owens speak of his grandmother and the impact she had on his life. However, I’ve never heard him really talking about his father. Perhaps it was because he didn’t meet his dad until he was 11 years old (2). In a 2004 Sports Illustrated article, we discover,

“At age 11 Terrell developed a crush on a girl across the street and began sneaking over to flirt with her–until her father told him that he could not “be interested in her” because she was his half-sister. “It took me a while to understand that I was talking to my father,” Owens writes. When he asked his mother why she’d never told him that his father lived across the street, she said that “it wasn’t necessary to explain everything to me.”

TO asks for no sympathy because nothing in his experience has given him reason to expect any. But he is entitled to it just the same, and his critics who read this book might want to lay off him for a while. It’s not hard to understand why a man deprived of his father, deprived of his childhood, deprived of the words I love you, would develop a tendency to call attention to himself when he succeeds.”

 That was Terrell Owens talking right there. A man making himself vulnerable. But TO takes over when that same man, who knows what it’s like to grow up with a father so close yet so far, turns around and continues the same cycle with his children.

If a good man is hard to find, then the impact of a bad father is even harder to get rid of.

Just as Terrell’s dad was right across the street, TO’s image will be just as close for his children as daddy is just one ESPN click, internet page,  and reality show away from them.

For what it’s worth, and not because I’m a 49er fan, I think I’d like Terrell Owens if I met him in person and we hung out. He seems like a guy that I’d get along with and I’d certainly love to hit the steel with him. But it’s TO that I couldn’t roll with, and if the article is true, I don’t think Terrell even wants to roll with TO any longer. Therefore, I hope Terrell steps back up and becomes the man and the father he’s supposed to be to his kids.

Perhaps you’re a single dad or soon-to-be divorced dad and you’re having a hard time dealing with visitation. Don’t stop fighting to see them and having a relationship with your child(ren). It’s not about you and the mom any longer, so don’t let that relationship hinder you.

It’s not always easy, it’s not always fun, but when you look back and know that you fought for something worth for more than $80 million, then you have reason to celebrate like this:

Remember, you only have one shot at this, so do it right.

CSD

(1) Jeff Arnold, Terrell Owens In GQ: I’m In Hell, http://www.thepostgame.com/features/201201/terrell-owens-gq-jeremiah-trotter-told-me-not-apologize-donovan-mcnabb, January 2012

(2) Charles Hirshberg, Sympathy For The Showboat, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1113703/index.htm, 2004

Parents protest at school over slave math lesson – Reason 344 for Why You May Want To Consider Homeschooling Your Kids

You know, one day I’ll do a podcast or article on some of the racist things done at some of my schools when I was growing up.

The worst by far was the Slave-Trade that my high school put on to raise money by auctioning off athletes.

Oh wait, shout out to the NFL and NBA who still do that…

Image from: http://brotherdoc.blogspot.com/
Image from: http://brotherdoc.blogspot.com/

But you know, I can honestly say I’ve never had to take a test like this.

Beaver Ridge Elementary parents held a protest outside their Norcross school Tuesday after a lesson on Frederick Douglass prompted third-grade teachers to use slave beatings to teach math concepts.

One of the questions on the worksheet. A school spokesperson has said the questions were "poorly written."

Channel 2 Action NewsOne of the questions on the worksheet. A school spokesperson has said the questions were “poorly written.”

Another question on the worksheet. Several parents have complained about the assignment.

Another question on the worksheet. Several parents have complained about the assignment.

School officials said that the questions stemmed from an effort to incorporate history into math lessons.

Channel 2 Action NewsSchool officials said that the questions stemmed from an effort to incorporate history into math lessons.

The protest was held as some parents of third-graders who saw the homework assignment met with the school’s principal.

About 60 parents, community activists and church leaders assembled outside the school. A few carried signs that read: “Shame on them” and “The teachers need to be fired.” Some drivers passing by the demonstration honked to show support.

Parent Christopher Braxton, who complained to the district about the slave math questions, said his son’s class was being led by a substitute teacher for the second day in a row as the investigation into the incident continues.

Braxton said Beaver Ridge Principal Jose DeJesus would not elaborate on the status of the probe or his son’s teacher.

“They apologized for the situation and said they could not speak about it further until they finish the investigation,” Braxton said.

Four of the school’s third-grade classrooms received the assignment, which made references to slaves picking oranges and filling baskets with cotton. It also included the question: “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”

This is the second time in two years race and ethnicity on a homework assignment sparked complaints at Gwinnett Schools. There was a similar incident in Cobb Schools last fall.

Last school year, third-graders at Gwinnett’s Chesney Elementary were given a reading homework packet that included a story titled “What Is an Illegal Alien?” The assignment, which was copied from the Internet by a new teacher, was not reviewed by the school’s subject area department chair before it was distributed. The math sheet created at Beaver Ridge also failed to undergo a content review, officials said. Under district policy, the worksheet should have been reviewed before being handed out to students, but that process was not followed.

In September, Cobb Schools came under fire for a similar incident, an assignment by a teacher at Campbell Middle School. Students were asked to write on the issue of dress codes and read a fictional two-page letter written by a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian woman. The character wrote approvingly of wearing the Islamic veil — and of her fiance’s multiple wives and the law of Sharia.

Gwinnett Schools human resources officials are investigating the Beaver Ridge incident to decide whether punitive action is necessary. District officials said they would work with math teachers to come up with more appropriate questions.

“These particular questions were an attempt at incorporating some of what students had been discussing in social studies with their math activity,” said Sloan Roach, Gwinnett Schools spokeswoman. “One teacher developed the questions, another made the copies and it was used in four classes.”

Ed DuBose, Georgia NAACP president, had a strong view: “The teachers, the staff responsible for allowing this to go forward should be fired.”

DuBose called off a press conference Tuesday and met with Gwinnett superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks.

One of the teachers involved in the incident is Hispanic, Braxton said. The district would not release the teachers’ names or races. All involved are being questioned about their role and are still employed with the district, Roach said.

School officials said the questions were not intended to be offensive and that copies of the assignment were being pulled so they wouldn’t be circulated.

Copy and paste the link to check out the video of the story:

http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/parents-protest-at-school-1296640.html

A Living Eulogy for My Mother

Happy birthday to my mother! 

Today is a day that I remember how blessed I am in two special ways.

  1. Both of my parents are still alive
  2. Both of my parents are still married

As I get older, I appreciate both of those points more and more.

CornerstoneDad.com is about promoting fatherhood. But because it is my mother’s birthday, I have to touch on motherhood today. Too often, mother’s are honored while fathers are taken for granted, scolded, and ignored. Even the Intruders cracked on dad in the song below for no reason! But not around here though dads, here you are safe. But please allow me to give my mom her props right now.

Perhaps the smartest decision my dad ever made was choosing the right mother for his children. Everybody talks about being that “Proverbs 31 woman”, but my mother has truly been that woman in our household.

 Proverbs 31:10 An excellent wife who can find? 

   She is far more precious than jewels. 

11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, 

   and he will have no lack of gain. 

12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

 Yea, my dad picked a winner.

 I remember my mom getting me toys from her job as a gift-wrapper at Hudson’s. I found a photo once, where she was one of the only black women in her corporate job back in the ’60’s.

My mom left the career behind to stay home and raise some kids. My dad didn’t make a ton of money, but they decided that her being home raising us was the best way to keep the streets from raising us instead.

Therefore, she was there when I took the bat outside to knock out Ricky Collins in elementary school. Yea, bullying isn’t a new phenomenon young readers. Instead of bombs, some of us had to handle it different ways. Mom kept me from getting in more trouble that day.

Mom would hold down my dad’s arm, to calm him down, as there were times he wanted to go knock out the truck drivers that called us niggas or other names on the CB on family vacations. “Okay, meet me at the rest area and say it in my face!” screamed dad. Mom would calmly but firmly say something like, “Please, let it go, lets just keep going…”. Mom kept daddy from getting into more trouble plenty of times too.

I guess that’s why I love Good Times so much as her and Florida sounded so much alike.

Mom told me about Jesus Christ at eight years old, and my life (and my family’s life) has never been the same since then.

Mom told me about Jesus Christ at eight years old, and my life (and my family’s life) has never been the same since then.

Mom taught me that taking two papers out the paper box was stealing, even if it was just sitting in there and my friend wanted to get one for the box scores also.

Mom almost died when I was around 13, and I’ll never forget the pain she was in as her “insides” fought like Ali vs. Frazier. The crying I heard still upsets me now.

Mom was at home when I called as my high school friends were getting blown out at parties and I didn’t want to join in because I knew the effects of alcohol, plus I was driving. She was my alibi for not joining in the “fun”.

Proverbs 31:27 – She looks well to the ways of her household 

   and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Mom wrote me a letter when she saw that after high school, the gravitational pull of the streets was too much for me, so she tried to pull me back.

It didn’t completely work.

So I’m sure mom wasn’t surprised when I told her I got a girl pregnant.

It was mom that was there when I saw my son for the first time, and no matter what kind of relationship I had with my son’s mother, it was my duty to be the best father I could be to him.

My mom never understood why white parents didn’t except her son, while she never mistreated or rejected any girl her boys brought home regardless of their skin color. Plus, knew that they treated women with respect because we always respected her.

Therefore, my Mom was at my wedding, when I was marrying a “white girl”…and to this day she loves her not because she has too, but because of the relationship she developed with my wife.

Proverbs 31:26 – She opens her mouth with wisdom, 

   and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 

My Mom is a superb grandmother. The photo above is her telling them things that I never even heard about growing up, like her struggles in the segregated South. Tales about the old buses she had to ride in for school while the “white” schools got the nice new buses. Yea…so much for “Separate but Equal”. (see: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_plessy.html)

 Proverbs 31:28 – Her children rise up and call her blessed; 

   her husband also, and he praises her: 

29 “Many women have done excellently, 

   but you surpass them all.” 

30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, 

   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, 

   and let her works praise her in the gates.

If you’ve read this far. Thank you.

I hope it made you think about all your mother has done and if she’s still alive, please let her know.

I write not to be sappy, but because I do not believe in giving dead people the flowers and praise at their funeral instead of while they are here on earth to smell the flowers and hear the praise.

Young men, be wise, and choose the right woman to be the mother of your children. Every woman you lay with has the potential to be the mother of your child and I’d bet that many of them, you would not want raising your children (shout-out to Evander Holyfield, Shawn Kemp, and Travis Henry – all athletes that forget that sex and reproduction are still linked despite our 21st century technologies).

Mom, you are blessed.

You have blessed me and my family.

I thank God that you can still be here to read this.

Without you, there would be no CornerstoneDad.

Without you, I don’t even no where I’d be today.

Thank you, and may God allow us to see many more birthdays together as there’s so much more work to be done.

Growing Up Without A Father

Washington Watch with Roland Martin taped a couple of shows dealing with fatherhood. The meetings were hosted by T.D. Jakes  and while I may disagree with T.D. Jakes theologically, he makes many good points on fatherhood and parenting in general.

Some of the topics/questions covered are:

Are men to “sissified” in society?

Will a decrease in dad’s presence mean an increase in promiscuity for girls?

Can a woman teach a boy how to be a man?

If you don’t have any children, can you be a father-figure to someone who does not have a father in their life?

Give the show a watch and let us know what your thoughts are on the subject. If you have a story that you want to share, please share or email me at cornerstonedad@gmail.com as I’d love to hear from you.

Click on the link below to check out the show.

http://www.rolandsmartin.com/podcast/?powerpress_embed=1078-podcast&powerpress_player=html5video

CornerstoneDad Podcast Episode #6 – Preparing for A Family? Sorry, You’ll Never Be Prepared

At the beach enjoying the children, but it hasn’t always been this easy! In this episode, I have the most beautiful co-host in the world, my wife. We tell a little bit about us and how our lives have changed with every child that we have been blessed with. We didn’t always see it as a blessing, but thank God he knows better than we do.

Click to listen: CornerstoneDad Podcast Episode #6 – Preparing for A Family? Sorry, You\’ll Never Be Prepared

Feel free to email me at: cornerstonedadpodcast@gmail.com and leave your comments about the show or tell us how your life has changed with your children. Have things gone exactly the way you’ve expected them to go? Let us know!