The roles of the father in the family have been changing a lot over the last century. Fathers are no longer just the breadwinners while mothers are just the caregivers. The role of the modern dad has shifted and changed. It is time to acknowledge the caring moments of fatherhood that often go overlooked. It is worth remembering just how much dads do and how important they are in the creating a happy family. From both the perspective of a mother and a child, I know just how much I appreciate my husband and my dad and how important the role of a father is.
What Is The Role Of A Father? Responsibilities of The Modern Dad
The roles of dads are evolving over time. Today’s modern dad in the United States Of America is more involved with childcare and home responsibilities that in previous generations when these things were considered the mother’s “responsibilities.”
According to Pew Research Center’s Modern Parenthood study, fathers in 1965 spent only 2.5 hours a week on childcare. With fathers today, that number has jumped to about 7 hours.
“Wow, 7 whole hours” you’re probably saying, sarcastically. “Start the parade.” But evolution is a process, and the generations of boys we are raising might do even more.
So what’s changing?
- The era of after work dinners and drinks have been cut down
- women are delegating family tasks to their spouses (more than their mothers did)
- more men are staying home with their children (more SAHDs than ever)
- technology is enabling work flexibility
- more women are staying in the workforce – in fact, 40% are the family breadwinner.
The Role Of Father In Family Is Important
Involved fathers make a huge difference in children’s lives. There is no question that the role of the father has a huge and direct impact on the cognitive development, social development, and emotional development of the child. A good father no doubt provides children with a leg up in life as he helps prepare the child to be a positive part of the community. This not to take anything away from single parents but when two good parents can be had, it just doubles the child’s support system.
Contributing To Financial Stability
Modern dads have so many roles to play. I know that many dads have the role of bringing home the bacon. Let’s face it, that is a pretty important role whether he is the sole bread winner or not. Dads are all about making ends meet and making our dreams come true. From what becomes expected (like putting meals on the table and a roof over our heads) to saving for college, our dads deserve our gratitude. But dads don’t just help provide financial security and increased financial power. Not by a long shot.
Taking Part In Household And Childcare Responsibilities
Father involvement in sharing household and childcare responsibilities is an increasing circumstance for today’s families. Today’s fathers are playing more of an equal parenting role. It’s parenting in the sense of presence and not just a paycheck. Modern dads are finding themselves doing the “juggling” of personal and professional responsibilities that women have been doing for years. And they’re realizing how challenging this really is.
Dads Finding More Family Time
Modern dads want to be more present and this means more family time. They want to know their kids better– from birth. Our society and culture have encouraged this. Active participation from early childhood has become the norm. My father’s generation was allowed in the delivery room, could even cut the cord and call the gender. Today’s generation of dads are (often) offered paternity leave and childcare benefits as well. Dads are increasing the father’s role for their children emotionally from the mundane to heart stopping moments. When dads take a positive active role in parenting young children, they are creating better bonds and improving social competence which a recent study shows may be related to reducing behavioral problems.
The Father As A Role Model
Dads wipe our little baby butts when we are in diapers, wipe our noses, and teach us how to wipe after ourselves! Dads do a lot of the care giving in a household from providing snacks for junior to helping get homework done. They are teachers- by words and by example. Dads teach manners. Dads teach responsibility. Furthermore, dads teach a healthy respect of authority and following the rules. Fathers get dirty with us as they show us how to play sports and wet with us as they show us how to swim. Dads impart family values and morals through the life that they live and the reminders that they give. They are excellent role models and they contribute to our idea of what healthy relationships look like. A responsible father helps show kids the right way to do things through his own actions.
Dads Are Life Coaches Too
Fathers who are present during the young child’s life and offer emotional support, will naturally be someone they turn to for advice. Dads give us aim. Not just with a baseball either. They help us figure out what we aspire to be and help find a path to achieve our dreams. Dads pay for music lessons. Dads line up college campus visits. Fathers talk to us about career choices. Fathers give us relationship advice.
Dads In Two Parent Families
In an ideal situation, the fathers’ roles also include being a loving partner. The close relationship that the father and mother have then offers emotional security to the child. The positive effects of a loving relationship are so many they certainly effect the lives of children in so many different ways. Not having to deal with the toxic stress of constantly fighting parents is itself a huge benefit. The positive impact of a close partnership of parents can also be seen as children learn to communicate better, to resolve conflicts better, and to offer compassion and understanding. This positive model helps children develop better relationships in their own lives.
Many Modern Dads Are Step Fathers
Let’s not overlook the role of a good step dad in child development to step up and be the replacement dad and/or additional dad to the biological father. Both roles are challenging. A friend once told me of her second husband stating that she admired him so much for being able to step up and fill in the hole her first husband had left in her life and in her children’s life. Now, that is a beautiful thing.
The role of a father is ever evolving. Fathers of previous generations may have felt less responsible for child’s development and more isolated in the role of providing financial support. Today’s dads have the opportunity for active involvement in the lives of their children. There’s still time to define your role as the modern dad.
Let’s face it. A father’s role to ultimately to be there for his child and provide guidance and support. We should let dads know that we notice everything they do and we are thankful for all of it. I know that my father contributed to making me the person I am today in many ways. I know that my husband’s role as a father is something that I am thankful for. That is why I try to show my gratitude every day. A good dad makes his family’s life better everyday and above all- his love is felt- and returned!
Share your thoughts about how the modern dad is evolving in the comments. Did I miss any of the roles of the father in the family? Discuss it with me on social media @familyfocusblog!
Cool Father’s Day Gifts to Make a Dad Feel Special
I think it’s great that dads are desiring more and more interaction with their kids as time passes along. I know that it is a very important thing to have interaction with your dad, especially as a boy. Having that good male role model can go a long way in your development as a child.