By Jeannie Law, (Interview with Motivational Speaker Derek Clark) BREATHEcast News Reporter
“Rapping Dad” and motivational speaker, Derek Clark, chatted with BreatheCast about his incredible testimony and life story filled with movie twists and turns, redemption, and forgiveness. He was also able to offer parenting advice and insight on why pop stars such as Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and others go astray from their walk from God.
Some may know Derek Clark as the YouTube sensation whose cute family video went viral after millions of people tuned in to see Clark rap for his kids during a random drive home. A video that was meant as a joke with his kids has inspired a rapping dad phenomenon.
When asked how he handles being “cool” with his children while still playing the role of dad, he made it clear, “I’m not their friend, I’m their dad.” He explained that it is possible to be exciting and cool and remain a responsible parent that guides their children through life. “I’m a fun, I’m a fair, and I’m a firm dad,” he added stressing the importance of having that proper balance.
On Clark’s online videos we see him often with his four children laughing, joking, and making music but Clark said when he tells his kids certain things, music, or movies are inappropriate the, “Law is dad and mom.” Nonetheless he said, “you can still be a fun parent.”
The rapping dad knows all too well what growing up in an unstable environment is like. Clark, who is now a very successful author and motivational speaker (ranked #1 Motivational speaker on Google), grew up in the foster care system for 13 years after being abandoned by his parents at the age of five. Since then he has successfully managed to turn tragedy into triumph. A now born again believer of Jesus Christ, he has lived to see the resurrection power of God in his own life and models himself after the Father when it comes to being a great dad to his own.
He said children need to be engaged not just tolerated. Very often parents hand their child an iPad/video game or sit them in front of a television. “You should be turning it all off… and spending time with your kid,” he said. “It’s not quality of time, it’s quantity of time. They want to know that you are there.”
Watch Derek with his children share an inspiring message of never giving up on your dreams.
Clark who now works closely with at risk youth said he has noticed that when you do not try to be a child’s friend but more so a mentor and give them structure and discipline, “They actually like you.”
“That is the problem, with Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus, and Lindsay Lohan, it appeared that their parents were their friends. They got so much money early on, they are like lets go live, lets be friends, and they should of laid the law down,” Clark said.
He elaborated and said, “I think that is one of the biggest problems with many famous kids and their parents today. They are putting their fame above good values and good character. Where are their parents? Partying with them? The role of a parent is to be a parent, not to be their best friend and try to live vicariously through their children.”
Clark said parents are the rock for their children and questions where God is in the lives of these people who do not guide their own on the path of morality. “It is not enough to wear a cross or to get a tattoo of a cross and say you are a follower. The next generation is looking up to them as a role model,” he said.
Clark who is also a very gifted musician, singer, as well as rapper, understands where the gifts come from. “God gave them their talents and they should be used to help inspire others,” he proclaimed. “And Justin is a Christian, I don’t know what happened.”
Clark stated that many of these famous teenagers or young adults, are more interested in being recognized and emulated for their lack of clothing or provocative dance moves and then they make poor choices while the masses look up to them. “Being famous and making millions should not be put above being a good example for others,” he said.
“Being a father of four children, it is my job to consistently instill good morals and values by constantly reflecting it in my own character and also preaching it to my children. walk the talk.” He went on and said, “I’m their dad, I’m their adviser, I’m not there to go out an have a party with them.”
Clark who often goes on daddy daughter dates with is daughter to insure that she knows how a man should treat her later on in life, said, he is sure to love, respect, accept, include, and value his children but most of all set the example. “I don’t walk a line” on being their friend and father “I am always far away from that line, far away from the edge.”