An ex-con has set up a fantastic initiative called Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club, aiming to prevent fatherlessness from harming the next generation. By getting dads involved with their children’s education, Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club improves the lives of both father and child.
The tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, along with the continuing body count from shootings in Chicago, Illinois, shines a spotlight on the urgency to answer the absent dad question.
Before addressing the alleged gun culture problem, what should be addressed is the societal and familial problems caused by absentee dads.
Unfortunately, the United States mid-term elections and political point-scoring over “gun culture” obscures the great elephant in the room: fatherlessness.
Study after study — even from my own experiences — tells of how an absentee father negatively impacts a child’s life.
It’s this reform of absenteeism — the abdicating and removal of the male role model from a child’s life — that is in need of correcting, long before any consideration should be given to gun law reform.
“A fascinating fact has emerged in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting: 26 of the 27 deadliest mass shooters in American history all happened to share one thing in common… All but one of the 27 was raised without his biological father.”
Curbing fatherlessness needs to happen, one classroom at a time. One dad at a time. One heart at a time.
Tackling the Problem
This is exactly what father-of-six Joseph Williams is doing in South Chicago.
He went viral in December 2021 when the release of his first kids’ book, My Daddy is…, sparked greater interest in his day job.
Williams, who served a 9-month prison sentence for possession of a stolen car in his 20s, (now a dad and author), is also the founder and chief executive officer of the non-profit organisation, Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club.
Williams started MDFC in 2017 after volunteering for lunch duty at his children’s school. He then turned to reading to his kids in their classroom.
The children’s response sponsored an epiphany: Williams saw the positive impact dads can have on a child’s education.
It was from this experience that Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club was born.
His goal is simple: “to get fathers back involved in their children’s lives.”
Running through the details with the Chicago-Sun, Williams explained,
“I believe this program can possibly be something that can help curb gun violence; something that can help curb a lot of stuff that we’re seeing happening in communities again. I believe a male presence and having guidance makes a huge difference.”
Championed as another Mr. Rogers, Williams knows the negative impacts of fatherlessness.
He told the Sun his own father was rarely around. This is why he has no intention of letting his kids be forced into growing up before their time, or putting on them ‘the trials and tribulations he had to deal with.’
The impacts of fatherlessness are a major motivator for his dads for kids program, and the reason why Williams is so keen to see it expand.
For Williams, Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club isn’t just for the children — it’s a great way to get dads off the street and back into living out their dad role in their children’s lives.
“What I notice is that these men, they love their children. These children have [even] saved some of these men’s lives. My children saved my life. So, just to understand the impact and how it works together.”
Discussing just how far he wants to see the Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club program go, Williams stated,
“I think if we can eventually, one day, pay our fathers to come into the schools, I think it’d be even greater. We’ll be saving their lives, and we’ll be saving children’s lives.”
According to the group’s Instagram page, Mr. Dad’s Father’s Club “was created to help get fathers actively involved in their children’s lives through mentoring and literacy.”
Joseph Williams and his team are a living example of dads pulling themselves out of distress, then inviting others to the same.
Williams’ success, much like that of the insanely cool initiative, Dads on Duty, shows that pro-men initiatives are the antidote to the plague of fatherlessness tearing at the fabric of Western society.
Few, if any, would disagree with the statement: literacy is a liberator.
As many have argued, mass shootings are a symptom of a much bigger problem.
If the diagnosis is fatherlessness, then the answer could be as simple as dads getting back to basics with their kids.
Thus, ending the absentee dad killing spree that tears families and society apart, by offering dads and their kids a better start.
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