Local Fathers On What It Takes To Be A Great Dad

Sunday, June 16, 2019 || By Shanel Romain || @maywoodnews

Featured image: Everett Stubblefield, a 39-year-old father of four speaks his piece on fatherhood during a Father’s Day basketball tournament in Bellwood. | Shanel Romain

On Saturday, I asked fathers who were present at two community events — a book discussion at Afriware Books, 1701 S. 1st Ave. (Suite 400 in the Eisenhower Tower) in Maywood and a Father’s Day Basketball Tournament hosted by Empowerment Church at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, 2501 Oak St. in Bellwood — two questions.

What makes a great father? What legacy do they you want to leave for your own children?

Here’s how they responded — in their own words.

Jarrett Robinson, author of numerous children’s books, including “I Can Be Anything!

I would like to leave behind some great structure, which is something our children really do need. As a father you want to teach them how to be really great human beings; how to strive for greatness; and how to be someone who people can look up to.

As Black men, we are ridiculed for a lot of things — having baby mamas and stuff like that. I think we need to get back to being fathers and loving our women. If we don’t, then what kind of example are we setting for our kids? That’s something both little Black boys and girls need to see. 

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Mike Burries, 53, Westchester, father of one

The first thing that makes a great father is a commitment to the mother of the child. That relationship is the foundation. I think the growth in fatherhood is not a male thing, but a marriage thing. I didn’t have any kids until I got married — by the grace of God. So a lot of stuff I understood as a father, I knew through mentoring, relatives and women who I would date with kids. 

We should approach fatherhood in that direction, instead of approaching it in a way in which you lay with a woman and she gets pregnant and bears a child. Consecrate the marriage and plan a child. 

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Kolin Glenn, 50, Aurora, father of five 

A great father has unconditional love. I want my kids to become the men they’re supposed to be — to teach and trust that they will be able to function in life the way they’re supposed to. I want them to make good decisions, be good fathers, good providers and be spiritually led. 

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Rev. Teddy Matthews, Maywood, father of two

To be a great father you need love, commitment, respect and the help of God. I grew up without my father — never knew him, never had a chance to meet him. So, the impression I want to leave for my kids is what it means to be a hard worker, to care for your family, and to not just be a provider but to be present with your family and be more productive for those who come after you. I want them to understand I’m doing this for them, so that they can do the same thing after me. 

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Everett Stubblefield, 39, Villa Park, father of four

It’s very important for fathers to be around. I believe they are the foundation of families. Without fathers around it’s difficult for our children to get an understand of what family is like. Fathers provide structure and I believe children need to receive love from both ends — from a male and a female standpoint. 

Little girls definitely need fathers in their life, because you don’t want little girls to be out searching for love that they’ve been looking for from their fathers. And with the males, you want them to be able to set a standard when they’re older to be able to learn how to treat a woman and be a strong individual themselves. 

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Byron Wicks, 32, Hillside, father of four

A great father is able to speak identity into your children and protect them, provide for them, pray for them and be a good example for them. I want to show my children what its like to be a good father and a productive member of society. VFP

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