Urban Magazine June 2017 - Page 20

barry cooper provides best advice to single dads In his first book The Provider, Barry Cooper educates fathers on how to develop and maintain a positive connection with their children and the other parent after the relationship falls apart. “The book is a guide to teach men how to deal with stress when it comes to co- parenting because a lot of times it is the leading cause in why men decide not to be as active as they should be or even decide to completely not be involved in the process of developing their children,” explains Cooper. The Provider approaches the sensitive topic of fatherhood with a caring and positive perspective that embodies the kind of wisdom that comes from arguably the best and most pragmatic of teachers, experience. “What I’ve found being a co-parenting dad of two children was that most of my issues were the results of a stressful situation which led me into making irrational decisions. Going through those processes and having those experiences, I learned that in order for us to change this paradigm, we have to be able to understand what we’re going through and realize these stressful situations are going to happen because we’re in separate households from the mothers of our children. We have to be proactive in preventing issues before they arise through respectful communication.” When all other alternatives are exhausted, it may be necessary to use the legal system to formalize agreements in vital areas of parenting including child support and custody to ensure that the well-being of the children is put first. While the myth of gender bias in court has long discouraged men from pursuing this option, Cooper provides a step-by-step guide on using the legal system to resolve disagreements and prevent misunderstandings. “The question is can you communicate with the other parent. If you can, you should articulate how you feel about the issue at hand in a civil discussion. If you can’t, then you have to take the dispute to court that way your stress level isn’t through the roof. That’s how to avoid putting yourself in a position to not want to be involved.” With more than half of African American children being born to unmarried parents, amicable co-parenting is the best way to ensure future generations have the best chances for success. The Provider is far more than beneficial. It’s necessary. - BE’N ORIGINAL URBAN | 20