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Voices from the Streets Part 21- From Boys to Men

By Nixon Dickenson

 

In this week’s article in the series Voices from the Streets, I would like to share a conversation with Mr. Kristan Williams  'DoDo' and his 14-year-old son Dahkil Williams.


 I have the privilege of mentoring Kristan, and I am proud of his accomplishments as a man and a father.  He has two sons and a beautiful wife and daughter.  He shares a great bond with his children.  The topic of this week’s article, ‘From Boys to Men,’ is meant to show the importance of an influential father's presence in the home. 


It is public perception that many of the social ills facing our young men in this country result from their fathers' minimal involvement in their upbringing.  This is why it is important to highlight fathers trying to dedicate their time to raising their sons, from boys to men.   Kristan stressed the importance of having a father in the home who is physically, mentally and emotionally present. 


He shared that a physical bond between the father and son is necessary for healthy growth and development.  He believes that the best teacher a son can have is their father, and the father is responsible for instilling positive values and good character in his son by being a positive role model.  Kristan shared that boys best understand the impact of healthy and unhealthy relationships from their fathers as they have a front-seat view of how their fathers treat others.


 This is why fathers cannot encourage their sons to do as they say and not as they do; rather, it should not only be ‘do as I say’ but ‘do as I do’ so that more fathers are inspired to do what is right because their sons are watching them. Kristan was raised by his grandmother, aunts and uncles. He shared that he is truly grateful for the love and guidance provided by his grandmother, and there is no day that he does not miss her. She and his aunts did their best to raise and nurture him, growing him from a baby to a boy. However, he believes it takes a man to teach boys the skills they need to become men. Gratefully, his uncles provided teachable moments and lessons for him, growing from a boy to a man.


Now that he is blessed to raise two boys, he is determined to do right by them.  He first ensures that he is spending quality time with his sons and his daughter and, most importantly, Dahkil, who is in his teen years, a critical period for boys where the influence of peer pressure is high. Kristan stated that he always validates Dahkil so that he does not feel pressured to fit in with the crowd or follow them.


He reminds his son to always think for himself and show respect to those around him, which will open doors for him in the future. Kristan stressed the importance of young men having a good education; as a father, this is his desire for his sons and daughter. He not only tells Dahkil to choose his friends wisely, but their relationship is one of trust, so he also tries to know who his son’s friends are.


Kristan shared that his sister was his best friend growing up and taught him to love and respect. It is these values that he is now passing on to his children.  Dahkil supported the conversation shared by his father.  He expressed his happiness at having his father’s continuous support and dedicated presence in his life.  He said that his father spends quality time with him and his siblings by reading with them and monitoring what they are viewing.


Dahkil said that the love that his father has for him makes him want to be a good person and a good son.  Kristan ended the conversation by sharing that being a father by today’s standards is not easy, and there are many challenges; however, his motivation is always to do what is right so his children can be proud of his actions and choices.

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