Did you know DJ Khaled has a son? And his name is Asahd? Of course you did, because if you’ve heard of DJ Khaled even once in the last couple years, it’s probably come up. His social media feed is like 100% photos of his kid (Asahd had his own Instagram account with nearly 2 million followers). His dad named his most recent album Father of Asahd. He put a picture of his kid on the cover. In interviews, he even claimed his son “produced” the album. Dad even designed a signature shoe with Asahd that they sell at Kids Footlocker.
All this for a 2 year old.
It’s cute at first. But if you think a little bit more about it, it raises some red flags. Is this really what the kid wants? Is this really healthy or appropriate? Or is it just a cheap way to get attention and exploit his cuteness?
Most of us are not rappers or influencers, so the ethics of a lot of those questions are sort of irrelevant. But we are dads and it’s important we draw some clear boundaries when it comes to our kids. Our kids are our kids. They are not status symbols. They are not extensions of us (or our brands). They are not here so we can impress people—at dinner conversations or in the media. Where they go to college says nothing about us. How cute they look dressed up for their birthday says nothing about us.
Our job is to take care of them, not exploit them. We’re supposed to let them get to be normal, to have a childhood—not to draw them into our adult world prematurely, or because it’s easier for us. That’s the best gift the Father of [Insert Your Kid’s Name] can give them. It might not seem as cool as a platinum record or a shoe deal or bragging rights in front of your friends, but it will go a lot further in making sure they have a healthy, balanced, happy life.