Traditionally fathers were known to be the breadwinners of the family. Their role was very clear: earn money, keep discipline, and be the decision-maker. But now, this conventional role has been changed to make way for many other unconventional roles and responsibilities for the modern family dad. From addressing children’s emotions, scheduling time to have breakfast with family, to discussing puberty with his girls.
Today, modern family dad doesn’t limit himself to just being the breadwinner or the strict disciplinarian. Even the status has changed for a modern family dad – he can be single, married or unmarried; gay or straight; adoptive or step-parent, and even stay-at-home-dad. Parents have even flipped the conventional roles of who is supposed to be the primary caregiver of their children – the traditional role of a mom doing it, is no longer so.
Reasons For This Change
Can be many ranging from the economic changes that occurred about two to three centuries ago. Women stepping out from their houses to work might have been the first step to thwart the traditional role of a father being the breadwinner. Then another factor would be the realization that he, too, has the same impact on the family and children as a mom. Researchers have found that the role of the modern family dad in the family is important, e.g., impacting the child’s mental health. His presence and involvement help the child to develop cognitively, emotionally, and socially.
Benefits Of Modern Family Dad Roles
There has been plenty of data to support the fact that involved modern family dad is as impactful on his child’s life. He is as instinctive as a parent as a mother. He doesn’t need to learn to parent. Fathers being there for their children is not only good for the little ones but also fathers themselves. Research has shown that fathers form a unique bond with their children, especially when they are teens, and this bond becomes the foundation for children’s mental health in their adulthood. Children who grow up with a positively involved dad tend to be more empathetic, less likely to be involved in violent behavior, and more likely to do well in school.
Barriers And Solutions
This doesn’t mean that a modern family dad doesn’t face the stigma due to the traditional mindset that is still prevalent in society. Stay at home dad, stepdad, single parent dad, divorced dad, gay dad, all of them get frowns and questions from the society. Due to this, fathers find it harder to try and be involved in their child’s life.
Some ways in which a modern family dad can become more involved in his child’s life – being emotionally available, showing physical affection, listening and empathizing, being involved in parental conversations, and learning to let go.
The modern family dad can contribute to his child’s life by working together with the other parent, being a permanent presence in their child’s life, and by understanding them. Fathers and mothers tend to be different in their parenting styles, like a dad is more physical in his play, while a mom is more verbal. But this difference is important for the child’s overall well-being.