My name is Aaron Ashford, Sr. and I am a married father of three children. They are Aaron Jr,(11) Arrington (9), and Aaden (5mos). My wife Tamala and I have been married for 12 years and were college sweethearts at South Carolina State University. She is a vice-principal at a middle school and I am a licensed professional counselor. Our weeks are hectic, but we make sure that our children’s needs are met. For me being a dad is the most important job or role that I have in life and I take a great deal of pride in my children. They have truly changed my life for the better and have helped me to see that everything isn’t about me. I am enjoying watching them grow and change and blossom into such independent thinkers and wonderful people. Just like my dad told me I want them all to be better than I am.
1) What has been the best part of fatherhood for you?
The best part of Fatherhood to me is watching my children grow on a daily basis physically, mentally, and emotionally. Watching our relationship go through ebbs and flows and seeing my personality and mannerisms being broadcast through them.
2) What is the most important lesson that you have learned since becoming a father?
The most important lesson I have learned thus far since being a father is that each of my children is their own person. I’m also learning that what worked for me may not necessarily work for them in terms of lessons learned through discipline. I’m learning to be more open minded while still embracing tradition in raising them.
3. What is the secret to being a good father to your children?
I feel that just being there and being present are the keys to being a good (dad) fatherhood is the single toughest yet most rewarding job a man can have in life. It requires faithfulness, persistence, and dedication. You won’t always get it right, but it’s okay as long as you learn from your mistakes. It is a job that you should take a great deal of pride in getting done.
4) What does Fatherhood mean to you?
Fatherhood to me means great responsibility in making sure my children have everything they need physically, emotionally, and spiritually and a lot of what they want materially. It is my role to make sure they see a strong presence in the male form and that they are adequately prepared for this world.
5) What do you feel is the best piece of advice that you have ever given your children?
The best advice I have given my children is to over deliver. I teach them that they need to go above and beyond and that it’s better to do too much than to do too little.
6) How does your parenting style differ from the style of your parents?
My parent style differs from my parents in that I am able to take my experiences as a college educated man to know what they will need to not only get into college, but which majors they need to select and what they need on a daily basis as they progress through K-12. Neither of my parents went beyond high school, so aside from advising me to go to college it was difficult for my father to speak from experience on that particular subject. Other than that I am a firm believer in boundaries and respect which was similar to my upbringing.
7) If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing before you became a father what would you say?
If I could go back in time before I became a father I would only tell myself of the joys that being a dad would bring me one day.
8) What piece of advice do you have for fathers who are not currently present in the lives of their children?
For any man not present in the life of his children I would only encourage them to conquer any would be boundaries that prevent that relationship from taking place, and remind them of the potential they possess to impact that child’s life.
9) What is the one moment since you became a father has changed your life forever?
The one moment that has changed my life forever was on 8-9-02 when my oldest son came into the world and I was right there the same as I was on 6-21-04, and most recently on 9-24-13. I remember each moment like it was yesterday when each of them came into the world. It became real holding them and looking down on their faces knowing that I was tasked with such a great honor of being their dad. That never gets old and changes the way you look at life itself.
10. What do you feel your legacy as a father will be?
My legacy as a father will simply be that I love each of my children more than I love myself and that I tried my best to provide them with everything they needed to be healthy, educated, loved, and prepared to contribute in society.
11) What famous African American history maker would you compare yourself to, and why?
I am fond of so many great African American history makers but I would have to say the I really admire President Obama and compare my role as a father to the one that he portrays. Despite his busy agenda and the multitude of things that consume this man he makes sure that he has time for his daughters. I am sure that other great leaders have done the same, but the unfortunate thing is that Facebook didn’t exist during their era. Although I am not nearly as busy as the President, I am reminded that we all get 24 hours each day that we are fortunate enough to see and it matters how we maximize that time to ensure that we get the most out of it. I try to do the same because my children are that important.
March 4, 2014
February 28, 2014
February 28, 2014
February 27, 2014