Let's examine the widely accepted myth of a good dad, but a bad partner.
I'll cut to the chase:
We need to stop telling men they can be good fathers without committing to or caring for the mothers of their children.
Children are psychologically affected by watching their mothers struggle, be abused, mistreated, overworked & emotionally neglected. Saying you can be a good dad while declining to be there for the mother of your child is bs.
“Good parents, mother or father, don’t treat the other parent like sh*t. They model loving, kind, compassionate, caring, teamwork for their kids.”
Good parents, mother or father, don’t treat the other parent like shit. They model loving, kind, compassionate, caring, teamwork for their kids. Good parents don’t destroy the family structure for selfish personal gains. They don’t create environments of struggle for their children to grow up in. Good fathers model leadership, partnership, and teamwork so their children can grow up with the necessary skill sets and security required to thrive.
How many people from our generation had “good dads” and struggling single moms? Where are those kids today? Statistics show those children, face more challenges in adulthood compared to the children who come from stable two-parent households.
We have allowed single parenting to become such the norm in our society that we have changed the definition of goodness in a man to serve our selfish desires as men and women. We have strayed from biblical and traditional definitions of goodness to adopt new age watered-down definitions that excuse shortcomings instead of challenging men to rise to the occasion. We have created this narrative to scapegoat for the fact that on both sides, we deeply lack the relational skills necessary to build solid family structures.
Children of single-parent households, particularly young men, have statically shown to have lower incomes, lower education levels, higher levels of mental health and behavioral issues, and are more likely to end up incarcerated.
Good fathers are good men who set aside their selfishness and do the inner work necessary for their families. They stand on the goodness they claim through their actions and efforts. We say “he can be a bad partner but still be a great dad” but how? If he’s abandoning or abusing the mother but dotting on his kid do you truly believe that doesn’t impact the child mentally in the long run?
The question we need to ask ourselves is where is our bar for fatherhood set? Is he a good dad simply because he didn’t totally disappear? The messaging implied in this logic is that fathers are irrelevant to child rearing so as long as they show up halfway it’s ok. It's logic that implies fathers are completely irrelevant to the family structure and home. Just show up for holidays, birthdays, and weekends, be the fun guy and the kids will be fine because they don't need a full-time dad. It implies mothers are built to carry the burden for two because they are stronger than men. While women are strong, we are not built to shoulder these burdens alone.
Fathers collectively should not be ok with this message that “you can be a good dad and a terrible partner” because it assumes so little of their true capabilities and completely discredits their necessity. It disregards the impact our romantic relationships have on our kids. If we wish to see a positive shift in our society, particularly for the black family, there needs to be a return to traditional family structures, morals, and values; values that encourage and uphold strong men.
Bring back the men that strive to be great dads as well as great husbands to the women they impregnate. Let's dead this idea that he can be a good dad and a bad partner because good just isn't good enough if we wish for our community to one day thrive again.