Monday, February 7, 2011

Countdown To Kickoff - Community Forum, That Is!

The NFL season ended on Sunday with a classic showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl. That countdown to kickoff has come and gone and the Packers are champions!
We have a countdown of our own - the countdown to our Upbeat Dad Community Forum! It will be held this coming Thursday, February 10 in Cooper City, Florida. It’s an event that I believe has been years in the making. If you’ve followed our blog for any length of time you would know that I see this entire Upbeat Dad vision as the cause of a lifetime. I am quite pleased that the blog has taken off as well as it has. We presently have over 12,000 hits worldwide – that’s phenomenal! (especially when you consider that we only launched 4 months ago).
As I mentioned in the post Announcing the Upbeat Dad Community Forum, I liken the blog to the air campaign in military combat. The work is done from a distance but still it’s effective. So whether I type each blog post from the office or from home or when I’m traveling, it doesn’t really matter – the connection is through the words that I type and post.
The forum and all future public or in-person events are of a different nature. Meeting people face to face and exchanging thoughts and ideas is something I enjoy immensely. I have taught seminars and workshops for over 10 years and one thing I often say is that, though I have much information to share, I love the active participation of attendees because I am always ready to learn from others’ experiences.
The forum will be as just that – a forum. That means, though I will be speaking and giving some information, the nature of this event is not simply a lecture – it’s a public discussion about the very important topic of fatherhood. I value very much the input of others because I believe that we have a greater understanding when we exchange thoughts.
Here are the details of the event:

The Upbeat Dad Community Forum!

 Come let your voice be heard at The Upbeat Dad Community Forum!
You'll enjoy this intriguing discussion on fatherhood!

Cooper City Church of God Fellowship Hall
9191 Stirling Road
Cooper City, FL 33328

Thursday, February 10, 2011
7 PM - 9 PM
Name: Rodrick Walters
Phone: 954-288-4788
Dads, Moms, Married, Divorced, Singles, Everyone’s welcome!
We wanna hear from you!

Free Admission!

Come on out and express yourself on this thought-provoking subject!

Among the issues that will be addressed are:
  • Absentee father syndrome: Where are our fathers?
  • How fair is the family law system?
  • From father to visitor: Being dad after divorce
  • Why every child needs a dad
  • When good fathers go bad
  • Why parents use children as tools in a game of Tug of War?
I know that most of you will not be able to attend. It is, after all, an event being held locally in the Miami area. But fear not – there will be video clips of it posted. Just stay tuned on that front. And as I’ve said from the outset, our vision is global so, in time, I plan to take the show on the road, as the expression goes. I would love to touch every continent in a meaningful way – yes, through the blog but also in person.
On Thursday, one of the things that I will share is that the primary response I have gotten from different persons as we have promoted this event is, “This is so badly needed.” All you have to do is turn on the news any evening and you’ll see headlines of crime and violence. I challenge you to do further inquiry on the perpetrators of these crimes. More often than not, you will see that there is a story about the lack of a positive influence of a father. And sometimes fathers may be present but effectively function as absent because they give no positive contribution to the raising of the children.
I’m not saying that you don’t have great, wonderful citizens who were raised by single moms. My father was raised by a single mom and in my view, he’s as good as they come. But in general, statistics show that children raised without the influence of a positive father  tend not to do quite as well scholastically and overall in life.

I stand and applaud all the single mothers who have taken on the task of raising their kids. As I shared in my interview on BBC radio last week, 60% of our readers are women and I feel fortunate to say that. I like the fact that they’re reading because I love to share the thought that I don’t believe they were meant to raise kids alone – they certainly did not conceive them alone. There’s a role for both genders to play in the raising of our children and I’m determined to share the thought that actively involved dads and moms tend to produce well-adjusted, successful children. And that is what most parents desire for their kids.
I’m very much looking forward to this event. Representatives from the Miami Dolphins will be present. Some elected officials and members of the media will also be present. It should be a great event. It’s our first but it certainly will not be our last. This message is too important to have only a one time go at it.
So the countdown is on. Thursday, February 10 should be a day that, years from now, we will look back and say that that event was a key inflection point as we chart the meteoric rise of our organization. And as I always say, our kids are the ones who will gain the most. To put it another way, they are the beneficiaries of our collective efforts.
Hug your kids when they come home from school today – they’ll appreciate it much. Enjoy your day.

The Upbeat Dad

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