The Daughter: Are you going to Number Two Son’s game?
The Daughter: You are good about going to our games. You went to every one of mine.
Me: I was the coach of your team. I had no choice!
Asian-American men are often driven to success, gathering for themselves high salaries and houses in expensive neighborhoods. For some Asian-American fathers, that success comes at the price of having little involvement in their children’s lives. That choice can turn disastrous, with Dominic Orr being a prime example. The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse is sponsoring a campaign to encourage Asian-American fathers and fathers of other ethnicities to spend more time with their children. The Clearinghouse says that children with involved, loving fathers are far more likely to do well in school, have healthy self-esteem and avoid high-risk behavior. Print ads and commercial spots have been commissioned.
As a father with a teenage daughter, I know that it is tempting to disengage with her and avoid teenage mood swings and drama. Work and career can seem more easy, more interesting, and more achievable than dealing with children. Coaching The Daughter and her brothers was a significant and often stressful time commitment, and my career has not progressed as far as it could have because of that. Still, I don’t regret the time I have spent with her and her brothers. I know that if I didn’t spend that time with them, it’s something that I would regret for the rest of my life, regretting it far more than missing a few items off of some “bucket list.“ I joke with my kids that I didn’t have a choice, but I really did. All fathers do, and this campaign encourages fathers to make the choice to take time to be a dad.