kids

Solomon Jones on Raising Kids

I’VE PARENTED both as a noncustodial father and as a married father, and the experiences are vastly different – both for the parent and for the child.

As a noncustodial father, a man can be reduced to little more than a voice on a phone, a playmate on a weekend or a name on a check. He can be, in essence, placed firmly in the margins of his child’s life, even if he desperately wants to be in the center.

I have lived that unending struggle, and I have learned the lessons that it taught. But when I look back through the 22 years that have passed since my first child was born, I see much more than a lesson. I see a disjointed tapestry of love and distance, longing and hurt.

I don’t pretend to be faultless in the creation of that tapestry. It was, after all, my own shortcomings that helped to drive us apart. But we live in a society that believes that noncustodial parents should somehow be punished, and that the punishment is in the interest of the child.

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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon

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My wife’s shirt from Northeast High 1985. If you look carefully you can see both our names— LaVeta Hewlett and Solomon Jones. Who knew that all these years later we would be married with children? God is full of surprises.
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