One of my longtime passions in the world of fatherhood has been to help stem the tide of fathers abandoning their families. Far too often, men father a child and then simply move on, leaving a single mom to raise the child without a meaningful father figure. This trend has been particularly alarming among black men, and the reasons are far more complex than we probably imagine. While there are many great role models in the African American community, far too few have tried to stand up and teach the young men in that community the importance of fathering.
Nathaniel Turner, the author of Raising Supaman, is one who is defying the stereotype and sharing not only his passion for fatherhood but also an extraordinary how-to approach to being an amazing father. Turner is the proud father of Naeem, a great young man who is excelling in life. Raising Supaman is part fathering memoir and part principle-based parenting guide for any father (or mother for that matter) who hopes for success in raising a child.
Raising Supaman focuses of some very key beliefs, which summarized are:
Society’s chief responsibility is to raise children who will become the best citizens of the world possible and who will maximize their ability so they fulfill their potential.
Children should be raised in a village that allows them to maximize their ability so they may reach their full potential.
Great parents are guided by the principle of “relational legacy”
In 34 easily readable chapters, Nathaniel shares with his readers his journey through fatherhood and his experiences in implementing his key beliefs. We learn as we read about the keys to his success, how he helped develop the “village” that is helping raising successful children, including his Naeem, and how he sees this important principle of “relational legacy,” or the idea that life is more than just living day to day, but is about dreams, passion, purpose and authenticity. We walk with Nathaniel through some of his experiences in raising his son, from track meets to peer pressure, and how he has converted these experiences into life lessons.
Each of the chapters is a letter or a note from Nathaniel to Naeem helping him understand the experiences he is having and making sense of the world, all from Nathaniel’s perspective. Using sports analogies from track and soccer, we see a gradual progression of this young man from dreaming to goal setting, to preparation, and onto performance. This progression is a theme throughout the book and fathers and young men can connect with.
And while Raising Supaman is not focused on the community of black young men, the messages will resonate with them. Nathaniel’s experience is both aspirational and inspirational to all men and fathers, but the need for a father to see his son as an “M.I.T” (man in training) is especially important for a culture that needs to change for the better and see fatherhood as a calling.
Nathaniel has taken the concept of Raising Supaman one step further in creating an excellent blog in which he shares additional experiences and makes those experiences meaningful to his readers. His blog is really insightful and is loaded with practical tips for fathers.
I have to say that I really enjoyed Raising Supaman, and I have been following Nathaniel’s blog for a while now. His writing skills are excellent - clear, concise and easy to read. Raising Supaman is an excellent addition to any dad’s library, and will bring fresh perspective into this role we as fathers have in raising responsible, prepared and successful children.