NBA veteran Etan Thomas, who has recently written a book on fatherhood, nevertheless says it’s crucial not be caught up in all the negatively surrounding discussions on single parenthood.
“I do a lot of work with young people who are growing up without fathers,” says Thomas. They hear a lot of negativity from adults about what happens if you come from a single parent household.”
Children brought up in single parent homes need to know that life is about making choices. Effective fatherhood and success is an achievable challenge, even for kids from broken homes, says Thomas.
In his book, Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge, well-known figures from all walks of life [including the likes of Isaiah Washington, Al Sharpton, Ice Cube and Chuck D] give their commentary on what they’ve learned from being a father, having a father, or in some cases not having a father around.
Thomas, a father of three young children, is acutely aware of the criticisms leveled against pro athletes. He says, however, there are many taking care of their business but the media tend to focus on the negative.
NBA player Dwyane Wade, for instance, has said being a father is by far the most important job in the world.
Despite the wealth, fame and adulation that come with a successful professional basketball career, the Miami Heat star has said he lives by the motto, “I’m a father first and everything else after that…”
So much so that he is writing a book about Fatherhood to be published September 4, 2012. In his forthcoming memoir, A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball, Wade talks about his experiences as the child of a single parent as well as being a single father, his publicist told theGrio.
In March 2011, Wade won sole custody of his two young sons, Zion and Zaire, following a long custody battle with his now ex-wife Siohvaughn. He has since been recognized by national organizations, including President Barack Obama’s Fatherhood & Mentoring Initiative.
At a time when African-American men are often depicted poorly in the mainstream media, Wade is just one of many fathers doing the right thing to be present in the lives of their children.
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