Single Dad Ed Underwood is a father of three, two sons and one daughter. Ed is an entrepreneur, learning specialist, homeschooler, business owner, and community advocate. Ed enjoys learning, nature, reading, writing, coaching, mentoring, bike riding,  fitness activities, and more. He describes himself as a life-long learner. 

Single Dad Ed Underwood shared his fatherhood journey, his parenting philosophy and more for the Single Dad Defined series.

Meet Single Dad Ed Underwood

Introduce yourself and your family. 

My name is Ed. I am a son, brother, uncle, and cousin. And I’m a father to a 28-year-old son, plus a set of 10-year-old twins, a boy, and a girl, that I am raising in my sister’s stead.

How did you become a single father? Do you have a positive co-parenting relationship? 

I became a father to my son when I was 23 years old. At that time, his mother and I were young and immature, lacking life experience. Unfortunately, our co-parenting journey was far from positive. We found ourselves in typical arguments and conflicts like countless young Black parents. Eventually, I  filed papers to become the custodial parent. Initially, I obtained partial custody, with my son spending seven days with me and seven days with his mom while holidays were to be determined. 

I noticed a disheartening pattern whenever I took him back to his mother’s house after seven days with me. It seemed like the knowledge and guidance I had imparted to him during our time together would fade away. After a week with his mother, I would need to remind him of proper behavior and other things. As he grew older, he started taking what I refer to as the “path of least resistance.” He chose to remain with his mom to “protect” his younger sister. Still, I knew deep down that his decision primarily stemmed from the lack of restrictions on his behavior and responsibilities as a young man. This occurred when he was around 13 to 14 years old. 

My son and I faced numerous challenges in our relationship. However, as we matured, he understood better how the world operates and how to navigate it successfully. Ultimately, my primary desire for my children is to equip them with the skills to thrive in life. 

In addition to my son, I also adopted my sister’s twins, a boy, and a girl, when they were three years old. They are now ten years old. Unfortunately, I have lost contact with my sister. She lives in a different state and rarely reaches out to me or her children.

Single Dad Ed Underwood with his twins. Have you been stereotyped? 

As a single black father, I have faced stereotypes and prejudice throughout this journey. I’ve consistently encountered these biases from my son’s mother and her family to medical professionals, the court system, and various others.

What’s one word to describe single Black fathers?


Why is it important to share positive stories about single Black fathers?

Many men are busy being fathers, and hearing the stories of other fathers could give you motivation or a different approach. It also opens up lines of communication to receive help and inspiration.

What misconceptions do people have about single fathers? 

That they are not able to be loving, devoted family leaders.

What is the hardest part about being a single father? What is the best?

I can’t say the hardest part because I don’t know everything. The best part is seeing my children use their God-given talents best and interact with people positively.

Ed Underwood out at baseball with his children. Why is it important for single fathers to be active in the lives of their children? Share some ways you spend quality time with your child and the lessons children learn from their fathers. 

Fathers play a crucial role in providing balance and diverse perspectives to their children, helping them navigate the complexities of our world. In my case, my influence on my son’s life is evident not only in his physical resemblance to me but also in the traits he has inherited, such as being self-employed. He has pursued a career as a plumber and is gradually expanding into electrical work. People often commend his intelligence and good manners, qualities I prioritized instilling in him while raising him. 

As for my twins, I have decided to homeschool them. Drawing upon my educational and professional background, I am well aware of the potential pitfalls within the traditional school system that can impact young minds. Out of my deep love and concern for them, I have chosen to shield them from those negative influences. Our homeschooling curriculum covers a broad range of subjects, including language arts, mathematics, world cultures, sciences, art, and much more. 

Furthermore, I believe in empowering my children and encouraging their independence. To that end, I provide opportunities for them to earn money and assume responsibilities within my store. They actively participate in tasks such as operating the cash register, handling transactions, managing inventory, and maintaining cleanliness and orderliness in the store.

Ed Underwood shares how he empowers his children and more for the Single Dad Defined series. What are some of the activities/things you enjoy doing with your child/children? Things they love to do with you? Special activities, etc. 

My son and I hang out from time to time. He’s young and on the go a lot. On occasion, he comes to me for advice. My twins love to do whatever I like to do. I have been encouraging them to develop some hobbies and special interests to no avail. They just want to do what I want to do. 

What advice would you give a single mother to help her heal from a bad breakup and have a positive co-parenting relationship with her ex? 

Make sure there are no uncertain terms in your relationship with your child’s father. The past is the past. Let it go. Everyone changes, and everyone grows. Peace and patience win all the time. The most important person is the child.

What advice do you give other single dads?

I would give single dads the same advice as my advice to single mothers. Dads also need to exercise peace and patience. Again, the child is the most important person in the equation. 

What do you do for self-care? Why is self-care important? How has self-care helped you as a person or a single father?

Meditation. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Self-care keeps my cup full. Meditation is a necessity at this point. If I didn’t have meditation practice, I’d probably have some charges against me even though I’m a peace-loving man. A meditation practice is an anchor that leads to healthy eating and exercising, and mental stimulation.

All thoughts and words shared are that of Single Dad Ed Underwood. Read more of our Single Dad Defined series and stay tuned for more Single Dad stories where we work to combat negative narratives about single parenting and aim to mend relationships between co-parents. 

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