Khalid and Anayah
- (Guest Blogger) By Khalid B. Scott, LCSW, CADC, MISA I, CWEL, LPHA
As I sit back thinking about the "Power of a Single Parenting Father Figure," so many thoughts come up! I reflect on how the impact (both negative and positive) my life has taken by not having my biological father around. However, I am grateful to have had my mother's boyfriend (Mr. Lee), my uncles, grandfather and male mentors around in my life for me "manhood" development! I remember being a young boy and hearing my mother and maternal grandmother telling me that because I was the eldest grandchild, that I had a big responsibility to show my younger cousins what a strong, smart, focused and determined young male should look like.
I remember at 17 being asked by one of my best friends (Darnelle) at CVS High School to be his unborn child's God Dad. My initial reaction was shock that my 17-year-old buddy was about to become a father. My next reaction was wondering what the role of a God dad was but I answered the call. In December of 1987 my 1st Godson (Brian) was born but then 2 months later in February of 1988, my best friend Darnelle (his dad) was killed by a drunk driver! My world was turned upside down because I really had to step up and be a true God dad at the age of 18!
As I look at myself now, they would be proud to know that I have truly answered the call! I have spent my entire life trying to be the best example of a "good guy". I was a top notch student in school (elementary to graduate school), I was God fearing, I respected my elders and women and more importantly, I showed myself respect! I struggled with (being my own person) at times because I have never really been a "follower". I have learned that walking your own path takes bravery and not many of us choose to do so.
We are ending 2015 soon and I now have 11 God children because for some crazy reason, my close friends saw something "Fatherly" about me. My biggest joy is that I have my own on 13-year-old daughter Anayah who has made my life worth living in every way. I didn't know what "gut wrenching love" was until Anayah was born in August of 2002 but now I do. I ABSOLUTELY love being a Dad and God dad, as well as a mentor to over 20 youth in my 22 years as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I even have some mentees who are now in their 30's (which makes me feel old).
I remember asking myself after my divorce in 2012, "How was I going to raise a daughter alone?
How would I do her hair, buy her clothes (including undergarments
), feed her (I don't know how to cook
), teach her the importance of being "ladylike", making sure she does't have chipped nail polish, make sure she excels in school, encourage her, wipe away her tears when she misses her mom, tell her when she's wrong without taking her confidence away, etc, etc, etc!?" But I did it and I did it well!
I got my "village of family and friends" together and got busy! There were many moments that I was scared but I learned that "fear" was not a option! My daughter recently won 8th grade homecoming queen and after the ceremony, she hug me and said "daddy, you're my HERO!" I wanted to break down because I needed to hear her say those words. Far too long I've felt judged, misunderstood and disliked by so many critics who came in the form of friends! To all "MEN" who have fathered children and feel that you can't truly contribute as mothers often do...you can!
My "kids" as I sentimentally call them, remind me that a "father" doesn't have to be the man who impregnated the mother, but that he is the guy who cares and shows it! I remember how impactful my mom's boyfriend (Mr. Lee) was in my youthful development and how I, to this day, treat women based on what I saw in his overall treated towards my mom (lovingly!) Our children (both boys and girls) need positive male influences around in order to have what I call a "balanced perspective!" My mother in her best efforts taught me to be a Phenomenal person but it was the positive male father figures who taught me what a "Phenomenal man" looks like!
As of today, my ex-wife and I co-parent Anayah as we were eventually awarded 50-50 joint custody! I am now a strong advocate for men's rights and especially fathers rights. I go around now to let other fathers who love and want to protect their children know that if they use the judicial system to their advantage and in a positive manner, more than likely they can get the positive results they desire.
REMEMBER: God made you, BUILT you and Blessed you with the ability to be your child's HERO, so put on your cape Super dads! As always, keep Anayah and I in your prayers!
Below are 10 tips as a single father that I have put in place for my daughter:
- Be deeply " In-Love " with yourself (if you love yourself then you won't and can't tolerate MESS!)
- Thank the Lord for everyday you exist and tell him that you love and honor him.
- Be " Beautiful " internally and externally (The world loves a beautiful woman).
- Value your loved ones (family and friends) genuinely.
- Don't ever "BEG" for someone's love....if nothing else, your Daddy loves you.
- Keep you hair done and no chipped nail polish on your finger and toe nails (a unkept woman ain’t cute).
- Conduct your entire life in a orderly fashion (to the best of your ability).
- When you make errors in your life, it's how you fix them that shows what kind of woman you are
- Apologize if you treat another human being wrong.
- Keep your heart open to allowing a Great Man like your DAD to come into your life.
Khalid B. Scott, LCSW, CADC, MISA I, CWEL, LPHA, is an award winning 22-year licensed case management/clinical social worker manager who work has provided mental health therapy to everyone from IDCFS-affiliated clients to foster and biological family members for over 16 years. Khalid is also a contractual trainer for CASA Cook County Juvenile Courts as well as a contractual college lecturer at Westwood College, Olive-Harvey College, Columbia College, Chicago State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and DePaul University. Khalid has one daughter, 11 God Children and has mentored children throughout his career!