What does fatherhood mean to you?
Teaching my children a good process for becoming a fulfilled person. This means helping them establish good values, providing guidance on their behavior and helping them adjust their behavior when they fall short of their values. I don’t want my children to be like me. I want them to be better than me. If every generation is better than their parents, then the world becomes a better place by default. Children learn more from our failures than they do our successes.
I want my children to use my mistakes to improve their lives and not use my example as an excuse to make those same mistakes. This is critical in the area of domestic violence where many children emulate the abusive actions of their parents. This can stem from efforts by parents to control the behavior of their children. Teaching children a process to fulfill their own values helps to break the cycle of abuse.
What is the best part of being a dad?
Admiring the courage of my children. All three of them have been in the game and not on the sidelines. They’ve had the courage to get in there and try and if they fail, try again. They have also had the courage to fight for what they want.
What is your proudest moment as a dad?
There are two. My oldest son Nathan was the “Michael Jordan” of big brothers for his sister from the day she was born. And, my youngest son Jacob showed incredible toughness by getting right back in the game when Abigail was murdered.
What do you and your children do for fun?
Snowboarding was something we all did together and something Jacob and I still do. We also used to play a bunch of silly games that we made up after I came home from work.
What is the hardest part about being a dad?
What kind of dad do you strive to be?
More understanding than critical. Softer than harder. More silly than serious. More trusting than controlling.
Describe your funniest moment as a dad.
I can’t think of one specific moment but I will say that goofing around with the kids has been a big part of our lives. It’s been pretty much an every day thing.
What would you hope that your kids would say about you if asked what kind of a dad they have?
One that keeps loving if they fail and one that keeps trying if he fails.
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received about fatherhood?
It’s an example, not advice. My dad always knew how tough it was to be a kid and provided unconditional understanding and support when I screwed up.
What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?
When both of my sons got up on the stage at Abigail’s memorial service and expressed their most sensitive thoughts about their sister.
On December 11, 2007, Chuck's daughter, Abby, was killed in her apartment by her ex-boyfriend. In the months leading up to her death, he repeatedly stalked her and physically attacked her one summer morning. Although a restraining order was issued against him after the first attack, Abby was found dead the morning of December 11. Following her death, Chuck and his wife Kathy created Abby's Voice Foundation. The missions of the Foundation are:
- To educate high school and college-age women on the dangers of domestic violence. While much attention is already being directed toward awareness of domestic violence, current advocates focus mainly on older women. Younger women, too, are at risk.
- Provide direction, outlets for support and protection for young women who feel they are at risk of an attack or are in an unsafe relationship.
- Provide education and direction to the parents of at-risk young women.
- Educate the community on the economics of preventing violent crimes.
- Create awareness and exposure to pressure law enforcement, district attorneys, and legislators to focus their attention on funding prevention of these attacks, rather than funding of prosecution after the fact.
- Develop programs in schools for young men at risk of acting out abuse and anger issues.
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