Saturday, January 22, 2011

Welcome New Countries - January 22, 2011

We'd like to welcome the following countries that have joined our growing list of readers over the past week: Argentina, Egypt, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Romania, Spain, Sri Lanka!

Please check out The Story Behind The Upbeat Dad to find out what we're all about! Also, at the top of the page, look for the section: Check Out Our Most Popular Posts to see the stories that our readers like the most. Each Friday we do an Upbeat Dad of the Week feature where we highlight a father whose involvement has made his kids' lives better.

We encourage you to become engaged in our conversation by posting comments to the posts you read. Also, join us on Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

You'll enjoy and share our excitement about fatherhood. Everybody's welcome - dads, moms, kids and anyone who believes strong, involved fathers help make strong kids.

Come back often. There's always something new!

Have an excellent day!

The Upbeat Dad

Friday, January 21, 2011

Upbeat Dad of the Week: Doug Clarke

Doug Clarke
Each Friday at the Upbeat Dad, we honor a father who has displayed exceptional attributes that endear his kids and others to him. These features are some of our most read posts. So often we hear about what’s wrong with men; but the men that we feature are not your stereotypical uninvolved, absentee dads that we read and hear about. These men are involved, enthusiastic and excited about their roles as fathers.
Today’s feature is one that I have mixed feelings about as I write. You see, this is the first father who we are honoring posthumously. I hope that after reading this post, you would embrace the gift of life that each of us has and that you would touch the lives and hearts of those in your sphere of influence. Our featured dad this week is one who embraced this principle and that is why we have chosen to share his very touching story. It is with great honor that I say that our Upbeat Dad of the Week is Doug Clarke.
Doug and wife Ann Marie
I did not have the privilege of meeting Doug face to face. But as I began getting involved with social media a couple of years ago, I saw that he was in a network of friends who attended the school in Jamaica that I attended just before migrating to the United States in the early 80s. I learned that he also attended the school several years before me. We made contact and really hit it off. 

He was the type of person who you meet for the first time and you just believe that you’ve known him for all of your life. He was 15 years my senior but he was just a down to earth, friendly brother. I had the privilege of speaking with him on the phone a few times. And though we planned to meet at different events that our former school had in Florida, New York and Canada, it never materialized. Doug so endeared himself to those he met that just by knowing him, it was easy to embrace the good that there is in this world.
Originally from Jamaica, Doug lived in New York with his wife of 21 years. Their marriage produced one child – a girl, who is currently 16 years old. At his core, he was a family man. His life and his life’s work centered around the family and community involvement. For many years, he was a service manager with the Toyota Motor Company. Still, he was always involved in the community through his church and his fraternity. He believed in giving of himself to impact the lives of others in a positive and meaningful way.
In the mid 90s, Doug felt that, though he enjoyed a fulfilling career that afforded him the privilege of taking care of his family, he wanted to impact the lives of young people in a more meaningful way. And the way that he thought would be most ideal was through the formal education system. So he resigned from his job and went back to school to get a Masters degree in Education. He did so, knowing that he would likely not make as much money but he believed that his life would have greater impact by teaching those who will become the leaders of tomorrow. He, in fact, did end up making less money - $20,000 less, to be exact. But he loved every minute of it.

As a high school teacher, he became very involved in the lives of his students. He was seen as a mentor, a counselor and a father figure to his students. So many of them, particularly boys, didn’t have a father in the home or even a father figure in their life. Doug became that father and friend. He was the biological father of one child but he fathered so many more.
For 10 years he taught in the classroom and for 3 years he was an assistant principal. By becoming involved at this level, he was able to help steer young people in the right direction before they made some of the mistakes that so many make. He was a reservoir of knowledge on so many different subjects so he would listen to his students tell of their life goals and he would help them chart the course for their success. So many young men and women today owe a significant part of their success in education and in life to the lessons they learned from “Mr. Clarke.”
His family was his pride and joy. His wife, Ann Marie – who I interviewed for this article – tells of how his entire life was consumed with her and their daughter. When he became an educator, he and his wife worked at the same school. Each day, the family of 3 would commute, bonding along the way.
Doug and daughter
His daughter was his world. Every activity she was involved in, he was also an integral part. Whether it was the Girl Scouts, church activities or other social activities, he was right there in the midst of it. He touched the lives of so many young people that having his own child was something that he saw as a privilege and an honor.

He taught her the importance of community involvement. She accompanied him as he did activities such as feeding the homeless and giving out water to runners in the New York City Marathon. He demonstrated, not only in word, but also in deed, what it means to be involved in the community and in the family.
In 2006, Doug noted that he developed a pain in his hip. Not sure what was causing the problem, he sought the input of medical professionals. It was then that he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone cancer. He underwent the recommended treatment and the cancer seemed to have subsided. In early 2010, however, the disease returned and was much more aggressive. This time, in early September, it claimed his life at the relatively young age of 55. He is survived by his wife, daughter, mother, 4 sisters and several cousins, all with whom he was very close. He also left behind scores of friends and admirers around the world.

For so many of us who knew Doug, we never even knew that he was ill. To us, it was like the manifestation of the term, “Here today, gone tomorrow.” Michael Jackson sang the song, “Gone too soon,” and I think that this applies to Doug and his great life.
As I interviewed his widow for this article, I asked her what one word she would use to describe Doug. Her response was, “Satisfied.” She went on to explain, “He was satisfied with life. He was satisfied with his family and his work. And he was satisfied that his soul was at peace. He was just satisfied.”
Doug and wife Ann Marie
She tells of something quite significant as Doug laid in the hospital towards the end of his life. When the hospital chaplain came to the room to speak with him, knowing that he had a terminal illness and was near the end of his journey, the chaplain asked him, “Do you ever ask the question, ‘Why me?’” His response to her was, “Why not me? I’m no better than anyone else. I have been blessed with so much and I have friends and family that love me. These things happen to people all the time, so why not me?” He indeed fought a valiant battle and was brave as he faced his departure.

In his last days, he was still the loving family man he always was. When his wife came to see him, he always left some of his meal for her, thinking she might be hungry. His daughter was broken hearted, seeing her father in that state. As she cried, he consoled her and prayed with her. He even got her to smile before leaving his room for the last time.
Doug and a fraternity brother
It is said that a good man’s works outlive him. That can certainly be said of Doug Clarke.  People continually share stories of the lasting impression that he made on their lives. And in December 2010, his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, at their 90th anniversary banquet, renamed their annual scholarship, which is awarded to students pursuing higher education, The Douglas Clarke Memorial Scholarship. How fitting a tribute for a man who championed the cause for students to get an education that could help them to achieve their life goals.
I wrote earlier that it is with mixed emotions that I pay tribute to Doug in this way. I hate the fact that he is gone. Yet, I am honored to have known him, if only for a short while. His work goes on and he’s still touching lives today. Billy Joel sang, “Only the good die young.” His 55 years were very well spent and in my opinion, he touched more lives in those years than many do for an entire lifetime.
I hope that you have been moved and encouraged by learning of the life of this great man. And I hope that his story will inspire you to be of service to your fellowmen. In my poem, A Lasting Legacy, I wrote:
Whenever I come to the end of my days
And I go to my final resting place
When the sun goes down and I finish this race
May I leave this world a better place.

This is my vow to humanity
A vow that will last all eternity
For my children and all who will come after me
May I leave a lasting legacy.

I believe that Doug Clarke has left a legacy that will live on perpetually. I know that my life has been enhanced by his story and I trust that yours has been as well.
As always, if you would like to nominate someone to be featured as our Upbeat Dad of the Week, please do so by sending an email to: You can nominate your dad, friend or loved one. You can even nominate yourself. We’re all about featuring those who embody the good things about fatherhood.
Doug with Congressman Charlie Rangel
Today, please reflect on the life that Doug lived. And, in your own way, commit to sharing your gifts to enhance the lives of others.

Have a great day.
The Upbeat Dad

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Having “The Talk” with Your Kids

Today’s post is somewhat sensitive. It has to do with “the talk.” Or to put it another way, “the birds and the bees.” Yes, it’s the talk about sex. It certainly is not the easiest topic for me to write about. I’m not an expert on the subject, yet I have two children – one who’s about to become a teenager and a newborn. I know that whether I like it or not, it’s a subject matter that has to be addressed. If not, they may very well get educated on the matter by others who may not necessarily have the insight that a loving parent does.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I don’t typically write on matters such as today’s topic. Yet, we have readers all over the world and we have the platform to give insight that we believe is valuable to dads and moms as they raise their kids. So I believe that the responsible thing to do is to share some valuable information on the topic, while recognizing the sensitivity of the subject.
Many of us as parents can reflect on our childhood and the time that we began learning about sex and the entire reproductive process. You may agree with me that much of what we learned on the subject didn’t come from our homes.  But rather, it came from our friends at school or from movies that we watched. Then when we reached puberty and began experiencing emotions and desire for intimacy, our curiosity on the subject became greater.
Traditionally, parents haven’t really sat with their kids to talk about this area with them.  Instead, they give them a good solid foundation in the home about life and trust that when they become older, they will make the right choices in all areas. Subjects such as sex and reproduction are not your typical dinner table topics.
What has occurred over time, however, is that information has become so readily available that practically everything you may want to learn about can be accessed without much effort. If you want to learn about some abstract topic that half the world’s population has never heard about, all you have to do is get on the computer and type in some information in a search engine and voila, there it is, right in front of you.
Many of our kids are even more skilled on the computer than we are. They don’t know what a world without home computers is like. To them, you can always find what you want by getting online. For those of my generation, the library was our source of information. Remember doing research and going to the library for hours on end? Remember the microfiche? We really had to spend hours looking for information that our kids can find in seconds.
So what I’m saying through all this is, if we do not educate our kids on the topic, then they will learn somehow and we might not like just how they learn it. It may be from the internet or from a movie at home or in the theatre. Or it could be from friends who may not necessarily have the most tactful approach or knowledge to teach them about this very sensitive matter. You don’t want them to learn in the wrong environment that it wasn’t really a stork that dropped them off at your doorstep.
I’m fortunate that although my daughter is in the 7th grade now, about 2 years ago, through a program in her school district, she began being formally educated on this subject. At the time, I was a single dad. Her school sent home a document with her for me to authorize them to teach her about human sexuality. I reviewed the document in detail before signing it because though I believe that the topic is important for her to learn about, I wanted to ensure it was done in good taste. That also prompted me to begin speaking with her, in a very delicate manner, about the topic. Believe me, even today it’s not a topic I enjoy speaking with her about. Yet, I’d prefer that she learns about it from her parents than from others.
As you may know, teen pregnancy is an issue that we have to face as a society. We also have to deal with sexually transmitted diseases. Whether we like it or not, this is the reality in our world today. I believe that if I take the approach of the ostrich and stick my head in the sand and hope that the problem goes away, it would be irresponsible on my part as a loving parent. Just like we send our kids to school each day so that they can become equipped to succeed as adults, in the same way, I believe that we ought to equip them with important information when it comes to the areas of human sexuality.
A question that one may ask is, “At what age is it appropriate to initiate that conversation?” I don’t know if there’s a specific age, per se. I do know, however, that our kids get exposed to so much information from the moment that they begin leaving home to go to school or to other activities outside of the home. Even at my daughter’s middle school, I’m amazed at some things that she tells me of that occur at school. Even if I were hesitant to initiate the conversation, based on what I know she is exposed to by other students, I know I’d need to start right away.
I encourage you as parents to establish the type of relationship with your kids that they feel that they can talk with you. By keeping the lines of communication open, you can help to ensure that as they grow older, they won’t shut you out of critical areas of their development. I know that in a few years, our 12 year old’s life may not be the open book to us that it is now. But I try to keep the communication lines open so that she always knows she can speak with us.
I hope that this post has been helpful to you. I didn’t go into specific details of how you should approach having the talk. You know yourself and you know your kids. If you’re uncomfortable initiating the conversation, then perhaps you can have a trusted family member, friend or counselor to have that conversation with them. If your kids’ school has a program to teach them about human sexuality, then please consider how they may benefit from such a program. Believe me, in this age of technology, you don’t want them learning about this area without your involvement. You may not like just how it is they get their education.
Please know that this isn’t the easiest topic for me to write about. But I believe that it is necessary to address it. If this post has given you some food for thought as to how you can approach teaching your kids about the human reproductive process, then I think that it would have done its job. Remember, our top priority is our kids and what’s in their best interest.
Do enjoy your day.

The Upbeat Dad


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bitter vs. Better Part 2: How to Become Better

On yesterday’s post, To Become Bitter or Better? The Choice is Yours, I wrote about the choice that we have when our relationships end on not so friendly terms. Quite a few readers have let me know of the encouragement that that post was to them. A gentleman in Canada reached out to me to share that the post was quite timely for him. He’s in the middle of a messy divorce and he has justifiable reasons to be bitter. But the message that I shared spoke to his heart and he’s beginning to see things in a different way.
Today I’d like to continue on the bitter vs. better theme. When I speak with persons who are in the middle of a divorce, it’s amazing to me how they readily tell me things like, “You know what he did?” or “Can you believe she said that?” Yet if you talk to most of these persons a few years down the road, their conversation is of a totally different tone. My mom always says, “Time heals all wounds.” This is so very true.
Can you relate to this? I know even from my own experience, with former relationships, when they ended on unfriendly terms, I seemingly was ready to tell anyone willing to listen all the negative things I could. With time and experience, I’ve grown so much. Now I realize that human nature is to react in a negative way. When we feel that we’re wronged, by nature we want to get even and let the person who caused us pain feel similar pain. That’s just how we are.
When my first marriage ended, I was bitter. I didn’t like the way that things transpired. I felt that the court system was biased. I felt that my ex didn’t treat me fairly. I didn’t like the effect all of this had on my daughter. I was really hurting and I just wanted others to know. You see, what had happened was that I was wounded. And just like when we get a fresh wound, I was in severe pain and bleeding, in a sense. I was emotionally fragile and really needed to be nursed back to health. I couldn’t eat. I lost 30 lbs in a month. Weight Watchers had nothing on me!
Over time, however, when I learned of the better vs. bitter choice that I had, I said to myself, “You’re better than that Rodrick Walters. You’re not a bitter man. You like to laugh and play and be jovial. Don’t let anything cause you to become who you are not.” I literally spoke aloud those words to myself. And for me, that’s when the healing began.
Today, if someone asks me about my former marriage, I’ll gladly and readily speak of it. It’s not something I think about each day. It no longer controls me but I’ll speak of it without any negativity. Would it be crazy if I said that that experience was a necessary step for me to go through to become the man that I am today?  It sounds crazy but I believe it to be true.
One thing that you will never hear from me is anything negative about my former wife – on this blog or in real life. Some people cannot wait to tell others how horrible a person their former spouse is. My response to that is, if they were so horrible, then why did you marry them in the first place? I wouldn’t claim that my former wife and I are good friends today but I respect her immensely. She’s a loving mother and though we are no longer married, I believe that she’s a good person and I wish her nothing but the best.
The fact that I’m writing and sharing these things means to me that I’m totally healed from that situation. A few years ago, it would have pained me to say that. Have you ever heard it said that hurt people hurt people? Well, when I was hurt, I was willing to tell others negative things about her. But growth and maturity have brought me a long way and I’m so glad for that.
How am I better for having gone through that experience? Well, for one, I’m so much more equipped to share the message of hope with others. Most the poems in my book Poems of Inspiration: A Daily Dose of Self Motivation were written after that experience. When it was released a few years ago, it was on the Barnes & Noble and Amazon bestseller list in the Self Help New Releases category. It has been a source of encouragement for so many.
And with the Upbeat Dad, I couldn’t ask for a better platform to speak on the issues of fatherhood. Had my first marriage been a “happily ever after” story, then I likely would not have the passion for fatherhood that I do today. I certainly wouldn’t have the insight to encourage divorced and single parents like I do now. I think that I have earned the privilege to speak to others on these matters because of my horrible experience. Today, just over 3 months after launching our blog, we have over 8,000 page views, with readers on every continent.
On February 10th, we’re having our first live event, The Upbeat Dad Community Forum. Organizations such as the Miami Dolphins are coming out to this event as we deal with the issue, “Where Are Our Fathers?” I couldn’t have dreamed up this stuff – I went through a difficult divorce with a young child. And years later, I am able to help others – men, women and kids – as they deal with some serious life issues. I guess that’s my reward for choosing to become better instead of remaining bitter. 
If you’re in the midst of emotional turmoil because of the manifestation of the term, “It’s a thin line between love and hate,” then I challenge you today to embrace your hurts and pain and say, “I will be better for this.” You can never change the past. It wants to control you but don’t give in to it. Smile in the middle of your storm. Dance in the rain because the pain is not there to kill you – it’s there to make you stronger. Your reward is awaiting you. Don’t get sidetracked by the issues of the moment – instead, focus on the great things that can result after you make it through the storm. Don’t be like the larva that dies in a cocoon – go through the process and soon you’ll be flying high like a butterfly!
The wonderful thing is that when you take this approach, no hurt or harm that you experience will ever be the same. And all it takes is you making the decision to embrace what comes your way and making the best of it. I could never write to a worldwide audience on the subject of fatherhood if all I knew about the subject was the beautiful, wonderful part. I’m not seeking to enroll in that class again – I learned my lesson the first time and I so appreciate what I learned. Today I have the love of my wonderful wife and my two children. And as a bonus, I get to share this uplifting message with a worldwide audience. What more could I ask for?
I implore you to commit to turning your lemons into lemonade. I’m not saying it’s easy but I promise you that it’s worth it. I think that you have so much good to offer your fellowmen. Choose to become better even in the midst of your hurts. Because when you do, your life can be used as an instrument of encouragment to people all around you and those within your sphere of influence.

Enjoy a wonderful and productive day.
The Upbeat Dad

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

To Become Bitter or Better? The Choice is Yours

Today’s post has to do with a choice that people all over the world have to make each day when relationships end. Whether it’s through divorce or another means, sometimes relationships end in the least favorable ways. As a result, lives are often shattered as the painful reality of a broken relationship sets in.

When those relationships produced children, it makes the end so much more difficult to deal with. Because when there are no kids involved, the parties can just go their separate ways and never have to deal with each other again. When there are kids however, it’s not quite that easy. All parties have to adjust to the new situation. The choice that each person has to make is: will I become bitter or better as a result of this broken relationship?
As I shared in the post The Story Behind the Upbeat Dad, when I went through a divorce in the early 2000s, a gentleman who I reached out to during the process told me that instead of becoming a bitter man, I should become a better man and dad. Those words have been instrumental as I have moved on from that former relationship.
I don’t think that most people get married with the purpose of having kids and then divorcing. Yet in reality, approximately 50% of marriages in the United States end because husbands and wives come to the conclusion that it’s better for them that they go their separate ways. The reasons that these relationships end are vast. People are hurt and really have a hard time moving on. Some become bitter and develop deep resentment for their former spouse.
I recall during my divorce, I went to a class for divorcing parents. During the class, a gentleman, speaking of his soon-to-be former wife said, “I don’t want her to die; I just want her to get leprosy.” We all laughed. But most of us in the room could empathize with him. He was hurt and he wanted her to hurt as well.
Last week, I had the privilege of speaking with my former attorney. She and I have kept in touch over the years as she has seen me move on from the divorce. I reminded her of some advice she gave me as I was in the midst of the process. She told me, “The best revenge is no revenge at all; instead, it’s a life well lived.” How profound!
Perhaps you may know someone who is dealing with the ending of a relationship and there is built up bitterness and resentment. Perhaps you are that someone. Based on my experience, I know that it’s better to become better, rather than bitter. Don’t allow yourself to be consumed with feelings of hatred and anger. You only destroy yourself in the process. That can even have serious health consequences.
If you feel that you were wronged, though it may be hard, try to forgive the offending party. Because you’re not doing it for them – you’re doing it for yourself. I write this as one who is very familiar with these emotions. But can I tell you something? When you develop a heart of forgiveness, it disarms the person who you feel hurt you. They have no control or power over you. It’s really a liberating feeling. Believe me, you don’t want your life to be controlled by feelings of anger and bitterness and resentment. You’re so much better than that.
Likewise, if you were the offending party, do your best to make peace with the one who you hurt. You cannot undo what’s been done but you can always do your best to make amends. If you need to seek forgiveness, then seek it. If it’s not accepted, then that’s fine too. You can only control yourself and how you handle each situation.
After I went through my divorce and I committed to becoming better instead of bitter, it seems that everything began changing for me. The things that I thought to be impossible started to become possible. I had a peace even in the middle of what was such a turbulent time. I realized that both my former wife and I had a role to play in the ending of the marriage. I asked her to forgive me and I told her that I forgave her. I didn’t get the response that I thought I’d get but that’s fine – it wasn’t really for her – it was for me. In order for me to move on, that was a necessary step and I’m so glad that I did it.
Today, I am happily remarried with a young son. My daughter from my first marriage lives with us. And I have a positive working relationship with my former wife in raising our daughter.
I also see The Upbeat Dad as part of me becoming better instead of bitter. Having experienced the pain and disappointment that comes with a divorce, I can now share with others how they can become better after a relationship ends. I believe that my life has greater meaning now that I’ve committed to move on and share with others how they can do the same.
Life has a way of teaching us lessons that we never really wanted to learn. I sure have grown from my experience. If you find yourself at a crossroads now where you’re faced with a similar choice, I hope that you choose wisely. Will you become bitter or better? The choice is yours.
Believe me – it is better to become better than to remain bitter. Think about this and make your choice.

Enjoy your day.
The Upbeat Dad

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the United States, today is a federal holiday as we celebrate the life and legacy of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. He was very instrumental in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s as his message of non-violence was a major force for change in a segregated society. Today, over 40 years after his passing, he’s still speaking to us through his life transforming message.
His was a global vision as he dreamed of the day when people would no longer be judged by the color of their skin but rather by the content of their character. He had great insight as he realized that, in fact, all men are created equal. He was a champion for human rights and is celebrated all over the world for his work. Because of his dedicated service to his fellow men, his work continues to transform lives today.
The vision of The Upbeat Dad is also global. We believe that the issues we try to address and the problems that we seek to solve cross cultural, ethnic and religious boundaries. Every single person on the earth has the genetic make up of a mother and a father. But in far too many cases, fathers are either absent or uninvolved in the raising of children. The repercussions of this fact are very significant. So we seek, in our own way, to make a lasting impact on the lives of men, women and children all over the world through our work.

At the Upbeat Dad, we honor Dr. King’s legacy. One of his most famous quotes is, “Let freedom ring.” The United States was founded on the principles of freedom. And today, over 200 years later, freedom is still one of the basic tenets that guide our nation. Dr. King recognized that when people are free, they can pursue their dreams and in their own way, they can contribute to the welfare of the entire human race.
My poem Freedom is the Cry of Every Man speaks of this truth. Enjoy reading it as we celebrate just what it means to be free.
Freedom Is the Cry of Every Man
By Rodrick Walters

Freedom is the cry of every man—
a foundation on which to stand.
Freedom to think, to imagine, to be;
freedom brings dreams to reality.

How can the bird fly unless it’s free?
Or dreams take flight without eyes to see?
The eyes of the wise are the ones we should cherish,
for when there's no vision, we surely will perish.

A free mind can make a pauper a king
when it discovers the potential deep within.
It marches to the sound of its own unique beat,
and helps make the life of a dreamer complete.

All men should have the liberty
to live their dreams – whatever they may be.
For every man deserves the right
to soar like an eagle to higher heights.

Please join us today as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King. His great contribution to humanity has certainly made ours a much better world, where freedom and liberty are cherished.

 Enjoy your day.
 The Upbeat Dad

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Miami Dolphins to Attend Upbeat Dad Community Forum!

As you may know, on Thursday, February 10, 2011, we're having our inaugural Upbeat Dad Community Forum! I'm so excited because I believe that this has been years in the making! To learn about the vision I have for this event, see our post Announcing The Upbeat Dad Community Forum.

We have quite a few commitments to attend from different persons so far and I'm thrilled! Our most significant commitment thus far is from some officials with the Miami Dolphins football organization. I had a meeting at the Dolphins' headquarters last week and they very much embrace the vision of our organization and this event in particular! They're such an integral part of the South Florida community. They have a tradition of excellence on the football field and in being an active corporate citizen in Miami and the surrounding areas. So I'm pleased that they are on board with us in this forum.

I'm also excited that we have commitments from community leaders including family law attorneys, elected officials and educators. If you're in South Florida or you plan on being in town that day, do make plans to be with us. It will be a wonderful evening that I believe will be very informative. I also believe that we will have a very spirited and lively discussion about fatherhood. 
Rodrick Walters
Our goal is to help fathers to become more involved in their kids' lives. It's easier said than done, I know - particularly when there are family law issues involved. But based on my personal experience - like I shared in The Story Behind The Upbeat Dad - with enough determination, we can play the positive and influential roles in our kids' lives that we ought to play.

Below are the details on the event:

The Upbeat Dad Community Forum 

Where are our fathers? And why are there so many deadbeats?

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

Dads, Moms, Married, Divorced, Singles, Everyone’s welcome!

Among the issues that will be addressed are:
·         Absentee father syndrome: Where are our fathers?
·         How fair is the family law system?
·         Why parents use children in a game of tug of war?

 “We’re excited about fatherhood!”

Contact: Rodrick Walters   Phone: 954-288-4788   Email:

RSVP by Thursday, February 3, 2011
Free Admission!

Come express yourself on this thought-provoking subject!

It should be a great evening! Come out and join us. It's all about being our best for our kids!

Enjoy your day. And if you're around, we hope to see you on February 10.

The Upbeat Dad