A Heartfelt Tribute to my God-sent Father

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The world is filled with men who plant seeds and men who take care of their seeds.  Given this, I believe that Father’s Day should be about honoring men who take care of their seeds.

My biological father donated his sperm, but not his time, love and affection. It saddens me to think that my biological father contributed to my creation out of lust, not love.

Unfortunately, like many African American males, I grew up without my biological father and did not learn some critical lessons about fatherhood.

As I traveled my fatherless path, I prayed and waited for God to send me a father who could show and teach me how to navigate through life and successfully transition into manhood.

Today, I am proud to say that God answered my prayer. To know Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, you would have to know Dr. Richard P. Chiles, my God-sent father.

While on my quest to understand human behavior and myself, I enrolled in Father Chiles’ Abnormal Psychology course. From day one, he took me under his wings and taught me lessons about manhood. More importantly, through his actions he taught me what fatherhood is all about.

It is a father’s responsibility to demonstrate personal integrity, foster love and affection, provide guidance and lead by example. A father should steer his children in the right direction and demonstrate his love through selflessness. A father provides constructive criticism so his children can understand their shortcomings without feeling attacked or belittled. A father understands the power of reaping what you sow. He knows that his harvest depends on the kind of seeds he sows. A father teaches his children compassionate, forgiveness and respect.

As a result of God sending me Father Chiles, I learned that the title of “Father” comes with a great deal of responsibility. My wife and I are expecting our first child, Dwayne, Jr. in September and I excited about sharing and demonstrating my knowledge of fatherhood.

Father Chiles taught and showed me what a father could and should be to his child. For this, I am forever grateful.

Happy Father’s Day,

Father Chiles

P.S. If you would like to learn more about my story and what it means to be a father click here.

What Makes A Man A Father?

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As a young boy I never knew what it was like to have a father present. Like any other child, I longed for a man to be in my life. However, at the age of 10 my world was shattered when the man that I knew to be my father denied me because he was angry.

Growing up in a single-parent female household was challenging at times. My mother did her best to educate me about the challenges that I would face as a man, but she could not educate me about the role of a father.

As I ventured through childhood I found it difficult to respect and connect with men. I had a father, but did not know anything about him. He would come around on the weekends and drop off a few dollars. By giving me a few bucks he felt that he earned the right to be called my father.

Whenever someone would ask me if I had a father, I would tell them that I was conceived by a man who donated sperm to my mother. This was hard for many to hear, especially my “father”. My brothers and uncles served as role models, but they could not give me the attention that I needed as a young boy because they had sons of their own.

For many years I searched high and low to find the answer to one fundamental question: What Makes a Man a Father?

Here are 6 observations I have learned about What Makes a Man a Father:

1. A man becomes a Father when he takes responsibility for raising his children.

Any man can create a child, but a Father will not forsake his child. A man becomes a Father when he not only clams his child, but also takes care of his child. Any man can donate sperm, but fathers nurture and raise their seed.

2. A man becomes a Father when he connects with his children.

Children, especially young boys need male role models with whom they can share their feelings with and learn from. Feeling connected is a basic human need. It is difficult to show affection when one does not feel connected. Fathers enjoy the time they spend with their children. They eat together, play together, and pray together.

3. A man becomes a Father when he learns to feed his children before he eats.

This fundamental lesson is critical to help young boys and girls understand the importance of engaging in selfless behavior. Young boys will also come to understand that they will be expected to provide as they journey into manhood. Young girls will come to understand the importance of giving their hearts to men who are family oriented.

4. A man becomes a Father when he leads by word and example.

A father understands that he must command wisely in order to be obeyed cheerfully. He realizes that he sets the tempo for his children. He strives to be optimistic, empathic, resilient and inspirational. A man will demand respect, but a Father will demonstrate respect. A man will tell you how to live, but a Father will show you.  A man will tell you what to do, but a Father will guide you.

5. A man becomes a Father when he demonstrates affection toward his children.

A father looks for the good in his children and openly acknowledges it when it is found. He celebrates their successes and communicates in a positive and nurturing manner. Hugs and kisses are given in addition to words of encouragement.

6. A man becomes a Father when he respects the mother of his children.   

A father is committed to helping the mother of his children succeed and there is an attitude of “one for all, and all for one.” In short there is allegiance to the children and family life is a priority.

When asked, “What makes a Man a Father?” I often remind people that a father is a man who raises a child. He acknowledges responsibility for his seed. With this in mind, I would like to say “Happy Father’s Day” to all the men who step up to the plate on a daily basis and give all that you have to your children.

Celebrate Fatherhood by purchasing a copy of “A Black Man’s Worth: Conqueror and Head of HouseholdPurchase Now!  

Happy Father’s Day!

Dr. Buckingham

8 Tips for Successful Parenting

The ability to succeed in the parental role does not occur without some form of training or education. Even the most nurturing, self-driven and well-intended parents require guidance and seek advice from time to time. Based on the fact that parenting is an essential part of parenthood, it is important to learn how to become an effective parent.

Over the course of my professional career as a psychotherapist, I have had the privilege of providing therapy to thousands of good-hearted, dedicated and loving parents. After listening to so many parental “nightmares” over the years, I have come to realize that parenting is not a natural or common sense skill. Those who succeed in parenting do not solely rely on their upbringing as the gold template, but equip themselves with tools as they endeavor to assist their children in becoming healthy and productive citizens.

Successful parenting is one of the most important interpersonal components of building a healthy home environment. It is important to note that successful parenting is a process and skill set that is learned through a combination of personal experience and education. As you strive to become a successful parent you should consider and apply the following tips:

Discuss and establish expectations early

Successful parents are good communicators and planners. They understand the importance of establishing expectations in the early phase of the parent/child relationship. It is important to make sure that the parent and child are on the same page in regards to what is required of each other. Minimizing confusion and clarifying expectations is critical to establishing a healthy parent/child relationship.

Lead by example

Always be willing to demonstrate respect for your child. Respect is vital in parent/child relationships and is often earned by leading and guiding. The old adage “Do as I say, not as I do” is definitely outdated. Leading by example builds respect and trust in the parent/child relationship.

Be flexible in your thinking

Flexibility is the key to growth for all humans. Remember that the parent/child relationship is an interactive process and that information should flow in both directions. Successful parents lead and instruct, but also listen. Look for opportunities to learn from your child and encourage him or her to respectfully ask questions if he or she does not understand something. Successful parents take pride in learning and welcome opportunities to grow.

Take care of yourself

The parent/child relationship is primarily lead by the parent. Therefore, it is imperative that parents take care of themselves. Successful parents acknowledge and recognize that they can’t give what they do not have. Teaching children the importance of engaging in healthy behavior and self-care is an important element of the parent/child relationship. Successful parents understand that personal development and happiness can come to a standstill if emotional, physical or spiritual health is comprised on a regular basis.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

Any relationship is only as good as the people involved in it. Successful parents understand that they have the ability to set the tempo and standard for their less experienced child. In some parent/child relationships there will be some level of tension, conflict or disagreement. However, successful parents realize that their attitude will influence how the conflict is resolved. Successful parents strive to maintain a positive attitude when faced with adversity.

Take pride in being a parent and demonstrate compassion

Successful parents are proud parents and strive to demonstrate compassion when interacting with their children. Developing a genuine interest in your child’s life (good and bad). Demonstrating compassion can lead to honest and sincere interactions. Successful parents strive to bond with their children out of genuine concern for their personal growth and not out of obligation. Children are more likely to gravitate toward and connect with parents who are genuine and compassionate.

Be knowledgeable about developmental, societal and peer challenges

A key responsibility of any parent is to assist children in their personal and social development. This requires parents to be familiar with developmental, societal and peer challenges that are relevant to their children. Successful parents do not attempt to lead by being in the dark. They equip themselves with proper knowledge in order to provide helpful and accurate information to steer their children in the right direction.

Stay focused on God’s mission

God’s mission for all parents according to Proverbs 22:6 is to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it“. With this in mind, successful parents provide a firm spiritual foundation for their children because they understand the importance of planting healthy seeds. They do not get distracted by “temporary” chaos. Successful parents keep their eyes on the prize during chaos and assist their children in doing the same.

Raising children can be very challenging, but also rewarding. Do you remember a time when you longed for support, encouragement and guidance? As you move forward in your parental goal to develop and maintain healthy parent/child relationships, please consider the tips outlined above –our future is in your hands.

How to Achieve S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Scholarly Achievement

Scholarly achievement involves the discovery of new knowledge and mastery in one or more disciplines by study. Individuals who equip themselves with knowledge through academic study or vocational training, position themselves to succeed in life.

Urgency

Act with a sense of urgency. Life will pass you by if you do not take advantage of the many blessings that God affords you on a daily basis. Successful people seek out opportunities and capitalize on them. Some people wait on others and some people have others wait on them. Don’t be a waiter – dreams do not come true without action.

Consistency

Be consistent. Successful people do not give up when faced with adversity. Whatever you do, remember that repetition and regular follow-through is important. Civil Rights leaders were successful because they consistently fought against injustice.

Commitment

Obligate yourself intellectually and emotionally to a course of action.

Exposure

Surround yourself by successful people. Remember that you will be influenced by the kind of people you hang around.

Superb Performance

Do your best and perform brilliantly. Be surprisingly good and always strive for excellence.

Sustainability

Take care of yourself emotionally, spiritually and physically in order to sustain. The capacity to endure during rough times in essential to achieving success. Successful people position themselves to run and win the marathon, not the sprint.

I developed the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. acronym in order to motivate and inspire individuals to achieve success. I have personally applied it in my life and thank God for the level of success that I have achieved. I recently finished by dissertation and will be Dr. Buckingham next month. I will be the first and only doctor in my family–God is good. As you strive to achieve success, please consider the tips outlined above – you can achieve whatever your heart desire.

Ask Dr. Buckingham – Should I Get Married and Then Sort Out My Problems

Dear Dr. Buckingham,

Hope you are well. I have doubts about the man in my life; it’s difficult to trust him. He impregnated a lady while we were dating, then I became pregnant. We broke up because I couldn’t bear it; but now that our son is 4 years old, he came back and asked for forgiveness.

I forgave him and he wants me to just give myself to him. He wants me to come see him after work and just have sex. I told him that I was too scared to give him my heart because I don’t know where we are going.

I don’t know what to do – I even told my grandmother about it and she says I should just get married and sort things out after; but is it advisable that I do that?

Should I Get Married then Sort Out My Problems?

Confused

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Hi Confused,

I know that you turned to your grandmother for guidance. This is great, but I have learned that a large percentage of older women come from the “school of suck it up.” My grandmother was taught to stick with her man if he was a great provider.

If the provider could provide emotional comfort and was trustworthy that was icing on the cake. With this in mind, I truly appreciate you for taking the time to seek wise counsel.

I believe that everyone deserves a second time chance because we all make mistakes. However, I strongly recommend that you do not get married, especially if you still have concerns. I promise you that marriage does not fix drama. If drama is present before you get married, it is likely to be present after you get married. Also, drama typically intensifies after marriage because the stakes are higher. Before marriage you can walk away without legal, financial and long-term emotional implications. After marriage, you will find yourself fighting for things that keep you trapped in the marriage. Whatever you decide, please do not marry into drama.

When you decide to jump the broom, do so with a peace of mind. We all get anxious about something before marriage, but your anxiety should be good…not stressful. If your son’s father cannot provide direction now, he probably will not provide direction later. If he wants to be with you make him prove himself…not in the bed. Pay attention to his actions, not his words.

Make sure that he treats you like a queen and carries himself like a king. Selecting a lifetime partner should not be taken lightly. If you truly want to know if your guy friend is marriage material, please visit my website at www.drbuckingham.com and purchase a copy of my newest book entitled, You Deserve More: A Single Woman’s Guide to Marriage.

Trust me, this book will provide you with everything you need to make the right decision about your lifetime partner. If you are not satisfied with the information I outlined in the book, please return it and I will refund your money. If you decide not to purchase my book, please obtain some information or seek counsel in person.

Best regards,
Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please click here and receive a response within 72 hours.

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

Ask Dr. Buckingham – Expert Relationship Advice (Hoodwinked? Marriage is a Lie)

Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I dated a guy for two years and then he asked me to marry him. Everything was fine until a month after we were married; the sex stopped; he stopped wanting to do things with me; he stopped wanting to go places and fell into depression.

It took a year and a half before I was able to figure out why. He was molested as a child and I was not informed of this before or after marriage–I guessed and was correct. He never got help for the abuse; he also has ED, and didn’t inform me of this either. We did, however, have sex before marriage, but it was not often; I thought it was more of a moral issue.

I feel betrayed and hurt and can’t get past this. I laid all my issues out on the table upon request before we were married and I asked the same of him and he said there was nothing to tell. I now know that was a lie.

We are attending counseling, but I am not gaining any relief from it, it gets worse as his responses are just weak. I resent him tremendously for making a lifelong decision FOR me. I also feel he was not ready for marriage as he has a lot of excuses for his actions and not taking responsibility for them either. I feel it is over and I cannot trust him anymore.

How Do You Cope with a Deceptive Husband?

Mrs. Betrayed

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Dear Ms. Betrayed,

If I was in your position I would feel betrayed as well. No one wants or deserved to be hoodwinked, especially not hoodwinked for life. While I empathize with you, I also empathize with your husband. He has some very profound issues/challenges and probably believed that lying was the best solution.

Over the past eighteen years I have treated both men and women who have been molested and have found that men are more likely to take their molestation to the grave. I am not excusing your husband’s behavior or supporting men who lie. I am sharing this point because sexual abuse digs deep at a man’s soul. It is the ultimate violation of manhood.

Someone made a lifelong decision for him when they violated him and unfortunately he did the same to you. This is not right by any means. However, the cycle of abuse sustains itself out of fear and rejection. Deception is not easy to cope with, but it is possible to overcome it. Deception in any form is not good, but I do feel empathy for your husband. He is dealing with two issues (ED and molestation) that are probably strongly correlated.

The best thing for your marriage is to have your husband attend individual therapy for his abuse. You cannot expect him to know how to process and express his issues, if he has never put them on the table.

I know that you are frustrated and feel victimized. Again, you have right to feel as such. Given this, I highly recommend that you seek individual therapy. In order to effectively cope with your husband’s deception, I believe that you need to process your emotions individually.

I say this because you will not be able to hear anything that your husband has to say with objectivity or understanding until you are emotionally stable. I believe that it is important to listen to people’s pain and fear. What you consider to be excuses might be your husband’s defense mechanism. The victim mentality can consume individuals. Think about how you feel now. Coping with deception is not easy, but understanding the source of the deception can help.

If you decide to continue with couple’s counseling, please try to be open and demonstrate empathy. This is an ideal time to model for your husband the behavior you desire. If you do not express empathy toward him, he probably will not express it toward you.

I understand that physical intimacy is very important in marriage. I also understand that ED can stem from both medical and psychological issues. Whatever decision you decide to make regarding your marriage, please do so with a clear mind and good information. Support your husband in dealing with his issues and he might be able to help you cope with your grief and feeling of loss. Take care of yourself, but also move forward with understanding and grace.

Best regards, Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please click here and receive a response within 72 hours.

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

Ask Dr. Buckingham – Expert Relationship Advice (Marriage & Unsanctified Men)

Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I have read several of your articles and decided to ask a question that has been bothering me for sometime now. I am single Christian woman who spends the majority of my time in church or hanging out with church people. I am new to the church thing. I did not grow up in church, so I am still adjusting to the church environment. I guess I would say that I am a babe in Christ.

After joining the Single’s Ministry, I was approached by this handsome guy who was serving as a deacon in the church. After dating for some time, I noticed that something was not right. He is very flirtatious and overly friendly with females. Every time I look up he is in some woman’s face complimenting her. I know that he should be friendly considering that he is a Deacon and all, but he should not be telling women how beautiful they are and saying things about how good they look in their outfits.

When I mentioned my concerns, he told me to quit tripping and reassured me that he is has no intentions of sleeping around, but stated that he likes to interact with a variety of women. He told me that God has removed his desire to sleep with multiple women. I believe him somewhat, but I am still concerned that his hoish tendencies will eventually lead to cheating. I am truly bothered.

Should I Marry a Holy man who has Hoish “Unsanctified” ways?

Looking For Love,

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Dear Looking for Love,

I am fairly open-minded about a lot of things and try not to pass judgment. However, I am not perfect. With this in mind, my response to your question is “No, No and No.” I realize that spiritual leaders are not perfect and will make mistakes like the rest of us. However, I have a problem with any spiritual leader who uses the church as a platform to manipulate and flirt with women. Being Holy and Hoish does not go hand in hand. They are completely opposite.

Here is a little break down.

  • A holy man prays for women. A hoish man preys on women.
  • A holy man works hard so that women can give themselves to Christ. A hoish man works hard so that women can give themselves to him.
  • A holy man is virtuous and seeks to please God. A hoish man is immoral and seeks to please himself.
  • A holy man appreciates and flirts with his woman. A hoish man appreciates and flirts with women.

Please understand that spiritual leaders are appointed and entrusted to help save souls. I realize that we all have flaws, but mixing holiness and hoing should not be one of them. It appears that your fiancé is still struggling with walking and living righteous. Before you say I do, give him some more time to cleanse his soul of his flirting ways. Encourage him to seek guidance and counseling so that he can heal properly. Unfortunately, there are some spiritual leaders who do not know what it means to lead. They do not have to strive to be perfect, but they should strive to be righteous.

Make sure that your fiancé’s moral character is one that you can live with for the rest of your life. He might be healed internally, but he is not demonstrating it externally. As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” If you are not happy with his flirting behavior now, you probably will not be happy with it in marriage. Your fiancé needs to gain greater insight into his behavior. If he thinks and acts like a ho; people will perceive him to be a ho. If you can see his hoish tendencies so can others. The holy ghost is powerful, but so is the flesh. If you decide to move forward with marriage, get some professional counseling outside of church.

Best regards,
Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please click here and receive a response within 72 hours.

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.