I recently appeared on the nationally syndicated radio program the Tom Joyner Morning Show to discuss my latest endeavor-FATHERS STANDING UP BOOT CAMP for separated/divorced experiencing various aspects of the “drama”.
My e-mail and cell phone was flooded with messages/calls from fathers and women calling from all over the country on behalf of their significant others, family members and friends. The stories I heard were similar to watching a Maury Povich or Jerry Springer episode. From deliberately keeping the father away from his children for reasons as trivial as, “I don’t want my child around his (the father) new girlfriend” to “this drama is affecting our marriage so much I am ready for a divorce!”
At a time where two social issues pertaining to the African-American community such as the large number of single African-American women and the high number of fatherless homes, as a professional service provider I can honestly state, “baby mama’s” are major contributors to these social issues. According to single parents.com, approximately 84% of custodial parents are mothers, and 16% of custodial parents are fathers. In addition to 54% of custodial of mothers are raising one child from the absent parent.
Let us examine the first issue, which are baby mama’s destroying relationships between fathers and children. The number one reason many baby mamas interfere with the relationship between fathers and children is due to the failure of the personal relationship with the fathers. Many baby mama’s use the number one tactic of falsely accusing the father of some form of abuse in order to punish him. When the father appears in court to petition for visitation, in most cases he will begin his court experience being ordered supervised visitation by the judge or hearing examiner.
Unknown to many within our society regarding fathers in a case like this is the fact that some men must make a choice between continuously appearing in court to fight the allegations or risk losing his place of employment. If he loses his job, he will be unable to pay child support. If he is unable to pay his child support, he is looking at the possibility of his bank account frozen, income tax garnished, drivers license revoked or finally his lost of freedom via jail time. For many fathers, a baby mama hell bent on keeping him away, if he does not find a good resource to continuously assist him….well, you think about it!
Over the many years of service through my program Fathers With Voices, many wives, girlfriends and fiancées have contacted my program. First, to find out in what ways they could be of assistance to their significant others. I began hearing so many of these stories it led to the writing of my latest e-book entitled, The ABC Guide- How to Face Parental Conflicts With an Ex-spouse-Together. Within the contents of this e-book, I am encouraging couples to see the “drama” for what it really is; a direct attack with the specific goal of destroying their relationships. Couples make the mistake and thinking the late night calls or denying the child from seeing their fathers as the reason for these petty games. Its’ not! Its’ about a bitter woman upset that their child’s father has moved on and is now happy with someone else. Unfortunately, some women are unable to deal with all of the “drama” and have ended the relationship or marriage. How can you blame them?
How much damage can a baby mama do to a relationship or marriage?
A very good friend of mine married a man that had a child from a prior relationship. Once they solidified their relationship by marriage, her husband was denied access to his daughter. He tried to improve his financial status by applying to become a police officer to better care for his new family, which included his wife and his two daughters. He passed all of the required examinations and was one-step away from being hired. He later received a telephone call informing him that due to a negative report by child support on his credit report, he would not be hired. According to my friend, the baby mama’s testimony pertaining to her husband providing financially for his daughter was severely fabricated. As a result, her husband lost a lucrative paying job in a profession that offers room for advancement. They had to re-locate to another state in order to find better opportunities for employment.
After fifteen years, my professional conclusion is; if we want to improve the chances of African-American women to find and maintain a relationship, baby mama’s need to be educated on the art of “moving on.” If we want to put a dent into the trauma of fatherless children, baby mama’s need to be educated on the damaging affects of lack of or no father involvement. Damaging emotional affects such as low self-esteem and early pregnancy in girls, high aggression and juvenile activity and placement for boys. So, for all of you baby mama’s that are taking pride in keeping your children away from their fathers and destroying another woman’s relationship, is this what you want your child to know is your contribution to our society? Think about it!
Eric Legette is the President/Founder of Fathers With Voices-
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