Fatherhood is a blessing that comes with a great amount of responsibility and dedication. A father is entrusted with caring for his children, teaching them valuable life lessons, and setting an honorable and loving example for them to follow. It is a privilege not to be taken for granted.
Native Hope’s Leaders’ Society Coordinator, Kyal Middletent, is passionate about his role as a father. He shares, “I knew when I became a father I could do it my way, instill values and share knowledge that I learned too late. From having a hard childhood and experiencing many difficult times, I always told myself, ‘When I become a father, I’m going to do it the best I know how, and my kids will never experience the feelings I’ve had to.’ My kids are my Cante [heart]!”
Kyal believes the most important aspect of being a father is “to be in your kids' lives, to show and give them love and accept them, and support their dreams. But most of all, being a great, positive, and loving role model.” He is also quick to add that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. Are there certain things he wishes he would have done differently? Kyal responds, “Yes, but I don’t dwell on it. I do my best to not make that same mistake again or to handle the situation better next time.”
Kyal always knew he wanted to be a father and share his joys and passions with his children. He admits that one of his greatest struggles navigating through fatherhood is “keeping balance in my life with work and hobbies. I always make sure they get my time and energy.” And what is his greatest achievement from his dedication as a father? He shares, “My greatest achievement? That’s easy. It’s how my kids run into my arms when they are empty.”
He realizes the weight of responsibility that comes along with being a father and encourages other dads to remain strong. For fathers struggling with addiction, Kyal offers encouragement saying, “Be strong, pray for strength, and ask for help. Try to plan family fun, or just do an activity with them. Your kids will give you the strength you need. And above all, just love your kids and spend time with them.”
As he looks to the future and the legacy he hopes to leave behind for both his children and his grandchildren someday, he states, “I hope they remember that I did my very best to provide for them and be there to support their goals and dreams. Most importantly though is they know how hard of a worker I was and to never give up.” Kyal continues and says that above all, his greatest hope for his children is "seeing them smile, laugh, and play, not worrying, just being able to be kids.”
Kyal hopes that he can also set an example in his children’s lives by giving back through his work with our Leaders’ Society. He is determined to use the things he’s learned through both his struggles and triumphs to make a positive impact in the lives of Native youth who are in vital need of strong mentorship and guidance as they seek a path to a brighter future.
Honor your dad this Father’s Day by giving the gift of hope to Native American youth. Your donation will fund vital programs that provide education and counseling for at-risk youth, enabling them to find a way out and equipping them with the tools they need to succeed.
Donate now and let Dad know how much you care by downloading a special Father's Day card created by Native Hope. (This will be the next step after completing your donation.)