By Ibrahim Dabo
Talking about fatherhood and some of its challenges at the Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in September, NBA player Dwyane Wade said “having a kid and being a parent is the greatest gift that you can have. It’s the toughest job but it’s the most rewarding and fulfilling job that you can have in your life.”
The Miami Heat star said in March 2011 he got full custody of his two sons from his former wife, Siohvaughn Wade, though he had to deal with challenges during this time.
He added it wasn’t a situation where he didn’t want to be involved in the lives of his kids but rather his “case went through alienation”, where the mother was making it difficult for him to see his kids.
“I went to court, fought back and forth, spent a lot of money but at the end of the day, it was nothing more important than making sure that I can be a leader and raise future leaders in my two boys that are home with me every day,” Wade said.
Wade said a reason he wrote his book — A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball — is considering millions of men going through such situations and the fact that he can share his experiences with them is rewarding.
He added that when he was going through his custody battle he didn’t have anything to look at or role models to learn from.
“So in a sense, I wanted to share my experiences of what I went through — the tough ones, my successes and failures — and make sure that if someone else goes through a similar situation, they at least have something to look at and say, ‘Okay, I see how he did it. Or, okay, I don’t want to do it like that. ’ Women can also read this book and they can look at it and say, ‘I never thought of it that way,’” Wade said.
To Wade, spreading the word in important.
He said: “We all have different platforms to reach out to others and we have to use these platforms to shed light on positive fatherhood and positive parenting.”
With almost four million followers on twitter, Wade is leveraging the power of social media to share information about his book and other positive things.
“That’s why I wrote a book to shed light on being a father, not because I am the best father in the world and not because I’m the only father, but because I want to shed a positive light on it because I know that everything that I do [or in other words post on twitter] is being seen by my twitter followers,” Wade said.
“I think we’re being good examples by shedding light on the situation and I feel it is important.”
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