07/18/2013 11:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Fatherless Fathers Discuss Breaking The Cycle: New Dad Says 'I Forgave My Dad' (VIDEO)

Can the cycle of fatherless children be stopped? With Jay-Z's 12th album bringing to light the challenges of parenting never having had a father figure in his life, new dad Jeff Zelaya joined HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill to discuss his approach to parenthood.

"My dad abandoned by mother days after I was born, so I never had a male presence or male role model. And that made me very resentful, made me angry, sad," Zelaya said.

"There was a fork in the road as a teenager. And I realized if I went down that road right there, I know where I was going to end up," Zelaya continued. "I was going to end up in jail, I was going to end up dead, I was going to end up like my dad probably abandoning the responsibilities that he had. And that could not be me. So I decided to go down the route of being a real man ... stepping up and being responsible for your child, giving them the best I could."

While Zelaya could have easily followed in his father's footsteps, he now has a son who he is fully committed to being there for. And rather than holding on to his past resentment, he credits his father with teaching him what not to do.

"I forgave my dad ... I had to do it in order to become a good dad now," he said. "When I had my baby boy just a month ago, holding him in my hands, I thought about my dad. And I realized, Dad thank you for inspiring me, thank you for actually going away. Because of you, I'm going to be the best dad possible now."

For more on this discussion, watch the full segment below:



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