Yup- and it’s Time to Pay Attention
Finally we hear about the good guys- the men in the NFL who don’t beat their wives or leave their children. They are the Ben Watsons, David Tyrees and Lavar Arringtons who are really good dads. And it’s high time that America sees how these men live. So thank you Pantene for giving air time to the few who represent many more men in the NFL who can teach our boys how to live better lives.
I have had the privilege of working with many men in the NFL and I have been wonderfully surprised. Several years ago I was invited to work with players who wanted help with their parenting. I said “no thank you” at first because I, like many in America understood the majority of men to be, well, let’s just say, not really into parenting. But I was wrong. Here is what I have learned from many of them.
David Tyree (who caught the head ball in Superbowl 42 to capture the win for the Giants against the Patriots) and his wife homeschool their four children. He now works with the Giants to mentor men on the team. LaVar Arrington takes his family on the road whenever he can and Ben Watson was so sad leaving his girls before training that he posted the above photo saying how much he was going to miss them. These are really good men and great dads.
Showing good fathers off in America is long overdue so thank you Pantene for stepping up to the plate. We need to see strong men who love being dads and furthermore, our youth need heroes who are interested in more than just making millions . Any one of these men will tell you that being a father is far more important to them than being football heroes. I know, because I asked them. Talking to a panel of five NFL men, I asked the following question: “If you had to choose between being in a Superbowl or being in the delivery room while your child was born, which would you choose?” Without hesitation, each man responded, “No question, I’d be at my child’s birth.” (You can go to NFL.com or my website to see it if you don’t believe me)
Our country- at least millions of young people- is in crisis because fathers have disappeared. We need them back in a big way. Studies show that fathers increase a child’s self-esteem, academic achievement, likelihood of going on to college and decrease a child’s risk for depression, anxiety and involvement in high risk behaviors like sex, drugs and alcohol. The evidence for the importance of having fathers in the home is undeniable and overwhelming. The problem for many fathers is that we as a society don’t adequately support them. Let’s change that America because our children need fathers who are involved in their lives.
Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician, mother and best-selling author of six books, including Strong Daughters, Strong Fathers. Dr. Meg shares regularly at MegMeekerMD.com. She is also founder of The Strong Parent Project which recently released its first digital course The 12 Principles of Raising Great Kids.