by Sara G. Stephens
To complement HFM’s June feature article on absent fathers (“Mommy, Where’s Daddy? ) we talked to Cederick Tardy, author of The Big Payback and A Head Start, as well as May 2013 book releases, The Seven Secrets and A Flying Start, written for mothers and sons, respectively. One of Tardy’s goals is to help mothers and their sons form a team-based relationship as a foundation for fostering a healthy, respectful bond. He knows firsthand, how difficult it can be for a young man to express himself to his mother. Tardy aims to spare his readers some of the difficulties he faced finding direction and developing a relationship with his mother.
Through his writings, Tardy guides mothers on a path toward productive parenting. The Houston-area raised professional draws upon his personal journey from childhood to adulthood. “My relationship with my mother has definitely made me a unique man,” says Tardy. “I cook. I clean. I iron. I do all the stuff most guys say women should do. Not growing up with my father definitely made it hard to find my manhood.”
Tardy worked through his challenges and sought mentors and role models. Bonding with them was not always easy. Tardy eventually had to pull himself out of a hole after a series of self-destructive choices stemming from confidence issues. Through teamwork with his single working mother, Tardy was able to climb from the hole and emerge as a better man. He continued his growth in adulthood through the U.S. military where he learned how to take on responsibility. He even eventually managed to form a connection with his father.
HFM posed three questions to Cederick (CT).
HFM: How did you cope without a father?
CT: “I did not cope without my father. I started drinking early (possibly trying to express my manhood). That turned into disobedience and drug abuse. It went bad from there.”
HFM: What advice do you have for single moms on how to improve mother and son bonding?
CT: “Hug more. Start doing this immediately. Conversation should increase and deepen as your physical bond grows stronger. If it feels weird for you to touch your son, what are the chances there’s a lot of stuff you two haven’t talked about?”
HFM: What key things did your single mother do right in raising you?
CT: “She became a role model in many ways. Rather than lie around complaining and waiting for others to help her, she made it. And, I’m not in jail or dead or unsuccessful.”
We also identified excerpts from Cederick’s latest books that speak to the important topic of absent fathers. Here’s what we found:
The Seven Secrets
• The question of a father in the home doesn’t completely address the issue. The real question is whether or not a child’s development was strategically designed to lead to a beneficial outcome by either his mother or his father with the input of the child. We dive deeper into this scenario throughout this book.
• Rap mogul Jay-Z has an equally amazing story. Abandoned by his father as a young boy, he went on to become one of music’s most influential personalities. Gloria Carter recalls how her son Shawn used to wake his siblings up at night rapping and beating drum patterns on their kitchen table. She believed enough in herself to support his dreams and bought him a boom box for his birthday.
• Thirty days is the length of time needed to create a new habit or break an old habit. Starting today, take on a thirty-day challenge to have deep, authentic conversations with your son daily. Have a genuine conversation with your son every single day for the next thirty days, and make it a family habit. Use one of the fifty questions below:
1.What things have changed in the world during the past five years for better or worse?
2.What’s the most difficult situation in your life right now?
3.If you were the president, what changes would you make?
A Flying Start
• Eventually, my mother kicked me out of the house. She sent me to live with my father. I got in trouble there, too. No one knew how to get me straight.
• Expect your mother’s entire parenting style to change after she reads The Seven Secrets. She will no longer see you as a boy. She’s going to see you as a young leader with a purpose. Your family life will improve. I know this because my mother and I have used these principles to improve the way our family functions.
• Imagine what Mark Ecko’s father thought when his son told him he wanted to make hip-hop clothing and airbrush women’s nails. Imagine what Lupe Fiasco’s parents thought when he decided to make music a fulltime career? How did these men get their parents to believe in them enough to not only allow them to follow their dreams but also to support them along the way?
Tardy aims to spare his readers some of the difficulties he faced finding direction and developing a relationship with his mother. “This is not a motherhood survival guide, but a how to “smash it” and feel good whatever your circumstances,” says Natural Child World magazine in a review of Tardy’s The Seven Secrets. “Mr. Tardy has done his research and having gone through a whole host of terrifying situations at a very young age, including drug addiction and run-ins with the police, he has emerged as a mentor and leader to young people in similar situations. The book aims to empower mothers of sons, particularly single mothers, to raise their sons as ‘young leaders’.”
HFM recommends Tardy’s collection of books as important tools for both mothers and sons. The author’s books as well as his videos on Houston’s Voice include valuable topics such as Understand Your Child’s Non-Verbal Communication, How to Keep Your Son Motivated, and Destiny and Purpose for your Family. Tardy also talks directly to sons with messages such as What 5 Questions Should Young Boys Ask Themselves? Overall, Tardy advises parents to have or create a plan with and for their children, and then keep boundaries in place to ensure that goals are met. The videos correlate to book chapters and are meant to reinforce important themes in the books.
Currently available on Amazon.com, Tardy’s books were released in May, 2013. For more information, visit http://cedericktardy.com.