Home Family Early Childhood What Makes a ‘Good Dad’ Today? Experts Weigh In

What Makes a ‘Good Dad’ Today? Experts Weigh In

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Changing the Conversation about Fatherhood

In today’s world, the role of a father is evolving, stepping beyond traditional norms. Yet, a mere 5% of primary caregivers at home are men. So, how do we encourage more men to be actively involved in parenting? It’s a team effort involving both men and women, and it starts by tackling age-old stereotypes.

Begin with the Boys

First, let’s look at how boys are raised. It’s crucial to teach them that caregiving is as much a man’s role as it is a woman’s. A 2020 study led by sociologist Laura Green underscores the importance of breaking the stereotypes early on. If your son has a younger sibling, involve him in nurturing tasks like feeding or reading a bedtime story. It not only sets a strong foundation but also teaches valuable life skills.

Fatherly Inclusion is Essential

Imagine this: a dad at a school event feels isolated because he is the only male parent there. This is not an uncommon scenario, and it sends a signal that men are not welcomed in parenting spaces. As a community, making fathers feel included should be a priority. Whether at a birthday party or a parents’ meeting, engage in conversations with dads and include them in child-centered social activities.

Experience the Joys of Fatherhood

Behavioral psychologist Karen Mitchell shares an inspiring case study that highlights the transformative power of hands-on fathering. In her research, a high-powered executive dad was nudged into spending an entire day with his daughter to create a handmade gift for a school event. This experience wasn’t just about the end product but about the journey of emotional connection and empathy he navigated with his child.

The wife observed a profound shift in her husband’s behavior—his newfound experience brought forth a compassionate approach not just at home but also in his workplace.

Mutual Efforts for Societal Change

Challenging gender roles in parenting is not just a men’s or a women’s issue; it’s a societal concern that requires both genders to come together. Men should feel secure in the choice to become a primary caregiver, and women should encourage and celebrate that decision as a sign of strength, not weakness.

Being a ‘good’ dad is not just about providing for the family but also about participating in the home and emotional lives of the children. By shattering stereotypes and welcoming men into the nurturing fold, society can benefit from balanced, compassionate, and involved fathers. It’s high time we redefine what it means to be a dad in the modern world—because being a great dad means being a great partner in parenting.

Written by
Leo Caldwell

Leo is a seasoned journalist and a father of two who writes about the evolving role of dads, co-parenting, and work-life balance. He explores the complexities of modern family life, including financial planning and maintaining strong relationships with extended family.

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