We've seen all the memes and jokes about "deadbeat dads" online, but in reality a father's role is an extremely crucial part of a child's development.

Growing up, I lived in a household with my mom, dad, and two sisters.  Today, my parents are still together and they've been happily married for 30 years.  I've never had to experience divorce, court, separations, or even living between two homes.

That's obviously not the case for everyone in this world - some kids don't even have a father figure in their life.


So when I saw this Facebook page called 'Rockford Deadbeat Dads,' it made me pretty sad to see the photos of different people getting exposed.

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No child should ever have to see their parent getting blasted online for something so personal and private.

If you don't know what a "deadbeat dad" is,

"a father who neglects his responsibilities as a parent, especially one who does not pay child support" [Dictionary]

After people caught wind of the Facebook page, my friend, Danial Petrie, posted this for any fathers looking for guidance, to build stronger relationships with their children and family, or looking for a safe space to make friends!

Via Danial Petrie - FB
Via Danial Petrie - FB

Danial turned a very negative situation into a positive way to not end up on the 'Rockford Deadbeat Dads' page.  I love that!

What is The Fatherhood Encouragement Project?

"Our mission is to impact fathers through affirmation leadership and community service. We build authentic relationships and help families grow stronger." [FEP]

These are just a few events the Project has done for fathers and their families in the Rockford and surrounding areas.

Via Fatherhood Encouragement Project - FB
Via Fatherhood Encouragement Project - FB

A friend told me today: Shame is not motivation.  That's my Monday motto.

Shame is not the solution.  Shame will only damage and destroy, not fix the problem.

Related: 7 Signs That You're a Real 'Dad' Kind of Dad

There is so much room for negativity, but there is even more space to make a positive impact in this world.  Be like Danial and The Fatherhood Encouragement Project; find a way to make a change in Rockford, in someone else's life, and even within your own relationships.

To find more information about The Fatherhood Encouragement Project and their mission, visit their website to get involved!

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