Raising Black & White Kids in America with Hasani Pettiford, Ep #2

Raising Black & White Kids in America with Hasani Pettiford, Ep #2

You’ll never agree with someone 100%, especially when you have different backgrounds and hold different beliefs. I’m convinced that—as a white dad—we have to start by shutting up and listening. 

Secondly, if we are going to lead as dads, we have to be in real relationships with black brothers. We exist to challenge each other and grow as dads. We have to stretch our thinking and be in relationships with people who are different from us. 

Hasani Pettiford has been married 20 years and has four girls, ages 11–18. He and his wife own a private coaching practice called “Couples Academy.” They’re marriage counselors that specialize in infidelity recovery. 

In this episode of Dads on Tap, Hasani shares what we can do to learn to understand each other and build better marriages for our families. 

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • A conversation with Nate from our sponsor: Slow Pour Brewing [0:50]
  • Learn more about Hasani Pettiord, his work, and his family [9:10]
  • Hasani shares what his relationship with his dad looked like [11:46] 
  • Hasani’s philosophy as a dad and how he applies it in his home [15:15] 
  • Why I believe this topic is important to dive into [17:41] 
  • What white dads need to know about being a black dad in America [21:35] 
  • Why investing in your marriage is the best way to invest in your kids [28:30] 
  • Common mistakes men make that can cause problems in their marriage [30:23] 
  • What do your kids need to see you do—or not do—in your marriage? [33:00]
  • Three things Hasani has learned about being a good dad to daughters [36:00] 
  • Hasani shares some resources to learn more [38:20]

Hasani’s philosophy as a dad and how he applies it in his home

Hasani shares that “Parenting is not just about what you do—it’s about who you choose to be.” Children mirror what has been modeled for them. You have to display for them the life that they should live. That’s why, every single morning before his girls go to school, they all say a mantra together: “Today belongs to me. It must submit to my will. And my will is in perfect alignment with the will of God.” It’s a prayer and confession, and helps them approach the day with success. As they become adults they’ll begin to understand the power of starting your day that way. Your kids borrow your belief until it becomes their own.

What white dads need to know about being a black dad in America

Hasani despises the word minority. When you live in a society where the majority rules, it means you can never win. There are many African Americans still haunted by the ghosts of a racially divided past. The idea that black people are miscreants, villainous, and intellectually inferior is still perpetuated. 

It’s shaped and reinforced every time you turn on the TV, watch a movie, and listen to music. It’s cemented in the minds of people who take it into education, healthcare, the legal and justice system, and even church. That’s what black people battle against every single day.

Everyone strives to raise children who are healthy, successful, who follow God, and can thrive in society. But the lessons that you teach your white children are completely different from the lessons of survival that black children are taught. When black children step outside their homes, they’re thrust into a different reality. 

We live in a society where you are given privilege because you’re white. African Americans have to be intentional about the way they walk, talk, and interact so they are received the way they want to be received. 

If we take the time to talk with and fellowship with each other, we may gain an understanding of what others have gone through. This lends you sensitivity and empathy toward other people’s struggles. We need to take the time to engage with others who are different from us. Only then does change occur. 

What do your kids need to see you do in your marriage? 

Hasani emphasizes that your kids need to see what love and respect look like. The best way to love your child is to love your spouse. It gives them a model for what healthy relationships look like. 

Don’t argue with your wife in front of the kids. But if you do argue in front of them, make sure you resolve the conflict in front of them too. If you don’t, your kids are only getting one side of the story. All they see is conflict without apologies. Demonstrate your willingness to apologize. When you change direction and behavior, they see evidence attached to your words. Be an example and model that they will mirror. 

Secondly, manage your “vices.” Focus on your personal growth and development and becoming the best version of yourself to be the best version of yourself for your children. 

What are common mistakes men make that can cause problems in their marriage? Listen to learn how to avoid them. 

Three things Hasani has learned about being a good dad to daughters

Hasani shares three practical ways he’s focused on being a good dad that you can adopt in your life. 

  • Live your faith practically. Practice principles of faith in your household so it becomes a foundation in their life. 
  • Empower your children and allow them to fail their way forward. In school you learn lessons and you’re expected to pass a test. In life, you’re given tests and expected to learn lessons. Equip your kids with tools and principles and allow them to mess up while they’re still protected. 
  • Spend quality time with your kids. Hasani spends time with each of his daughters to teach them what they should look for in their future spouse. An individual time of connection is important. 

Place boundaries around your work and home life and invest time in your spouse and children so they aren’t competing for your time. 

Discussion Question: What does being a father mean for you?

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Hasani Pettiford

Connect With Scott and Dads on Tap

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Audio Production and Show Notes by - PODCAST FAST TRACK