Devin Pankey Says understand that there isn’t a book or a blueprint on how to raise “YOUR CHILD!”

Name: Devin Pankey : Miami, FL | @devthetrainer

What does being a father mean to you?

Being a father to my daughter has been such a fulfilling experience. From the day she was born I was in love. But more importantly as a king, I have to make sure that I raise my daughter up the right way because we live in different times where parenting styles are different and the exposure to real life reaches child at another age, so I have to make sure that I equip her the with the right tools, educate her, and prepare her for this life that she is going to be exposed to the best way I can. Set her up to have choices and options rather than just go a traditional route. Being a father is dope in my eyes. It’s like I can’t wait to have more lol I know that sounds a little crazy but I’m ready for it.

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Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.

My father died 5 days before my 8th birthday, so I was still a little too young to really grasp what was going on but I still remember little conversations and events that happened with him. I remember when he came and picked me up from school early one day, and a small conversation we had at home, and another at my 7th birthday party I believe. My dad was dope and I know he would have been proud of the father and man that I’ve become. How that experience impacted me today is that it just showed me that time is precious and valuable, so you have to take advantage of those opportunities. Any chance I get to spend with my daughter I make sure to always tell her “Daddy Loves You”, “You’re such an amazing daughter”, “You can be whatever you want to be” and just provide her with that validation. Do more things with her rather it be always going to the park some days, getting her a stuffed animal she likes, let her pick out things she likes, and just talking to her. Getting to know her more.

What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?

Somethings that I took from my childhood growing up into fatherhood is that I need to be able to trust that she will be ok. I’m sometimes scared to let her play with other kids at the park, let her climb up on objects by herself, and basically let her grow or learn because of that fear that she will get hurt, something will happen, ect. I have to let her be a kid and make mistakes so that she learns from them but educate her on what happened so that she sees what happened and what to do/not do next time. I have to learn to not get mad when she makes mistakes because as intelligent as she is, kids between the age of 3 and 6 are going to continue to make that same mistake or not listen over and over and over again. You have to have patience and a lot of trust.

Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?

The biggest obstacle for me was when me and her mother for a divorce and now she loves in two separate households. I always told myself that I never wanted her to experience that but when it happened I was a little hard on myself but then I realized that my new task going forward to to make sure that she feels loved, protected, safe, a secure no matter what. So, this means that me and her mother have to be on one accord at all times just to show her that “she” is taken care of abs has nothing to worry about. Our job as parents are to raise our children to be the best that they can be and to equip them with the correct tools, resources, support, and love for them to be able to be successful in life. Her mother plays a huge part in my success as a father and deserves credit. S/O to you Mom!

What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?

To all of the new dads. You will make mistakes, you will get frustrated, you will get down on yourself, but understand that there isn’t a book or a blueprint on how to raise “YOUR CHILD!” This is what makes fatherhood and parent hood so magical because you are learning more about yourself while you’re watching your child learn, grow, and adapt to their new life. You will see some funny things that you use to do that they mimic, and you will see some bad things that you use to do as well but the experience of being a father to your kid is like no other. Enjoy it because if you’re lucky, you will have multiple times to start over and do it all over again lol

If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?

Dear Father,

Even those our relationship was cut short, you don’t know how much of an impact you’ve had on my life. I’m trying not to tear up right now because this is the first time I’m really looking back but you were a disciplinarian with all of your kids, nieces, and nephews, so we knew not to do anything bad because we would have to go through you but at the same time, you were the person that everyone loved to be around. Always cracking jokes, being silly and just being who you were meant to be. Growing up, you don’t know how many times I would walk around the neighborhood and people would tell me stories back in your softball days and how I look so much like him. I even scared mom a few times coming back from college through the back door because I looked so much like you. Your baby boy is doing just fine and you will be proud of the man and father that I’ve become. You and mom can rest easy knowing that you’ve fulfilled your duties as my parents. Now it’s my turn!

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