Name: Craig T.
Occupation: Civil Engineer
Number of Kids: 2
What type of father do you aspire to be?
I aspire to be a blend between authoritarian and permissive type. I want my children to be creative and free to explore their interests, but with structure and discipline. I don't want to limit them with my perception of the world and reality. I want them to create their own opinion.
What examples do you glean from in your fatherhood?
I get my fatherhood methods from various men in my life. From friends, co-workers, and uncles, but I get most of my methods from my older brother and father. I'm very fortunate to have strong men in my life that have shaped me into the man I am today. They are not perfect, but I was able to extract the nudges I deem essential to being a better man and father.
Best memory of your father or male figure in your life?
I remember vividly at a tender age, my father asks me to go to the store with him. I ran to my room and picking out the exact outfit to match my father's , muscle shirt, shorts, tube socks, and gym shoes. I imitated my father the entire time from his walk to the way he sat in his Cutlass Supreme to his stance. I remember wanting to be just like him; strong and confident.
I was in college and my parents purchased me a car to travel to Carbondale, IL (SIUC) and to use for my Co-op. During a break, I was back at home and was talking to my father about how I needed to replace the AM radio. He agreed with me and went with me to the radio store to get some new radio equipment. The salesman and I picked out a Kenwood Snatch-Out radio, Pioneer 6x9 speakers, and a 200-watt amplifier. My father agreed it sounds great and will definitely turn heads on campus. The salesman rung everything up and the total was nearly $650. I made the assumption my father would pay for it since he agreed that the car needed a radio and the radio equipment I selected would satisfy the need. Boy, was I ever wrong? The salesman asked will that be cash or credit, I looked at my father and he said: "I bought the car" and walked away leaving me to explain to the salesman that I just wanted an estimate. I drive home was very quiet. I learned an invaluable lesson that day that I use to this day.
What is the best moment you’ve had with your son or daughter?
Best moment was last year at my oldest daughter's musical theater camp show. The camp was only two weeks long. It was around 8 students that wrote, produce, and choreograph the entire show. The show was approximately 30 minutes long, she was singing and dancing in front of a large audience like it was second nature.
What motivates your SWAG?
Accountability - My girls are looking at me at all times. I'm their first image of what a man is. I set the bar for what they should expect from men. Also, others are watching me.
Being Open-minded. I don't want to limit my daughter's development because of my beliefs and view of the world
How have you grown as a father over time?
I understand patience now. It's not only with my children but with people in general. I developed a statement that I use "A person can not do what they do not know or was not taught".