Name: John Howard City: San Antonio TX | Instagram: @TheDadBodStrong
What does being a father mean to you?
Man! Being a father means the world to me. Knowing that I help create/bring a heartbeat, a soul, another human into this world, is simply a blessing.
I know I have the responsibility of teaching them early, what I learned late. Being a positive example of a male figure in their life is most important. Showing my sons how a man should treat a woman and showing my daughter how she should be treated.
Being a father means I am the foundation creator for the legacy of my seeds.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
Growing up as military kid was interesting. Every three years we’d move to a different state or country. Making friends wasn’t easy and back then staying in touch wasn’t the easiest either.
My dad served in the Army and was away a lot, so my mom raised me and my brother mostly. One day my dad had a severe stroke and had to spend months in the hospital. After recovering from the stroke, things changed with my dad. My parents seemed to argue a lot more and at some times it got pretty intense. As I got older, me and my dad would often have arguments, heated arguments.
My arguments with him were usually in defense of my mom. I hated seeing my mom cry after also seeing her do so much around the house, keep us in school, be there for our events and just everything!
I guess the short answer is… my experiences with my dad are mainly arguments. I don’t argue because it brings back the rage I had dealing with my dad. I don’t mind engaging in a meaningful debate but I’m not wasting my time arguing with anyone anymore.
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
One thing I appreciated in hindsight is the amount of exposure to different cultures I had growing up as military kid. We spent quite a bit of my life living in Europe. With that said I make it a point to make sure my kids are culturally diverse and have appreciation for what’s makes us all unique.
Another thing is being careful with how money is discussed around my kids. Discussing how to invest, value, and appreciation of things we provide for them.
Lastly, positivity. My dad spilled a lot of negativity into and around me. I’m the complete opposite with my kids. If they’re interested in it! I am too and I’m all in with them!
Have you had any obstacles on your fatherhood journey?
My biggest obstacle was becoming a father at 16. I made so many mistakes that had made me a better father today. I don’t have the strongest bond with my 17 y/o son as I do with my other 3 kids. It’s something I’m continuously working to improve daily. I spent a lot of time away from him due to joining the military right after high school.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
Fatherhood is a journey you can never fully prepare for. We have perfect intentions but we’ll never be perfect parents. The main things is just being present and intentional. It’s easy to be in the presence of your child but fully immersed in your phone for work or social media these days. It’s nothing I hate more than seeing a kid asking for something with there parent right there zoned out into their phone. Be there and be present.
Also, one on one time with dad is a musta, especially if you have more than one kid. Those moments build bonds and memories for a lifetime.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
Dear Father, We had a rough time through out the years but we still keep in touch which I can say I’m happy about because your grandkids love to hangout with you. I hope that someday soon you learn to forgive those you have grudges against and let go of the negativity you have bottled up inside of you. Not everyone is against you and it’s ok to have differences but don’t let the differences burn bridges.
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