Kenneth and Maurice share a bond and a story like no other. Read as they speak on the experience of raising two young men in today's society.
Name: Kenneth McCants-Pearsall
Occupation: Managing Director of Program
Children's Names: Juan and Eli
Children's Ages: 8 and 9, respectively
What is your philosophy on fatherhood?
Kenneth: I want to instill in my kids core values (honesty, respect for self/others, generosity, service) that will allow them to be self-sufficient, productive, and overall good people. They have to be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. I think of it as freedom to grow and explore within well-defined boundaries.
I imagine that you may have experienced prejudice in raising your sons. How do you respond to that while simultaneously providing the best example you can to your children?
Kenneth: Surprisingly (as a black, gay man), I haven’t experienced any overt prejudice which is surprising. However, I am always hyper aware of how I orient them to the world as young boys of color given their relative naivete.
Can you describe the moment you first met your kids? What did you feel, how did they react? can you pinpoint a moment where things changed or was it a more progressive/slow change?
Kenneth: We first met the boys in March of 2017. For us, it was love at first sight. It’s hard to tell how they felt given we met at Dave & Buster’s! However, we gelled pretty quickly. I think things changed for us in June of 2017 when they officially moved in with us and began to call us Dad/Daddy. It was full steam ahead from there!
What is one thing you wanted your father(s) to say to you that you will be sure to impart to your sons?
Kenneth: My dad died before I was born, so this one is hard to answer. I think the thing I want to impart most is that they are loved and that our home is a safe place for them no matter how crazy the world gets.
What was one of the hardest moments you had being a father? What made if difficult?
Kenneth: I think the hardest part was almost the overnight shift from really being self-centered to putting their needs first. I was also an only child for 18 years, and so I was pretty used to thinking of myself first.