The Days Of The Stereotypical Father Are Over! It’s No Longer Socially Acceptable Or Expected For Fathers To Be Solely The Bread Winners And Occasional Disciplinarian.

Society has been moving towards equality at an increasing pace for several decades, and parental responsibility and expectations have been apart of this collective paradigm shift.

The most common contemporary description of a good father is ‘emotionally available’ and ‘hands on’ meaning a active involvement in nappy changes, night feeds, reading books and daily conversations as they get older. In short taking part in activities which have in the the past been attributed to the mother.

The term used to describe the advantages of a active or hands on dad is “The Father Effect”. Research indicates that some of the areas that are positively affected are:

  • Cognitive development
  • Social skills
  • Behaviour
  • Self esteem
  • Communication skills
  • Self discipline
  • Relationships
  • Psychological development

It has also been shown that kids with active fathers “are less likely to drop out of school or wind up in jail, compared to children with absent fathers and no other male caretakers or role models…”

Joshua A. Krisch

It was not to long ago when the concept of a stay at home dad was alien. Although societies views have changed on the subject, the stay at home mum and breadwinner dad parental dynamics, is still more easier to achieve than any other arrangement. For example the fact that men are paid more on average than women facilitate the reality that “Around the world, women spend up to 10 times more time on unpaid care work – including childcare – than men”.

BBC journalist Sophie Hardach

Only a small percentage of men take advantage of their paternity leave rights compared to women.

Policy-wise, UK paternity leave – which was introduced as recently as 2003 – remains an afterthought, compared to our much more generous maternity leave provision. But while it’s far from financially lucrative, taking it might just keep your child safer, save your marriage and even prolong your life!

Unlike traditional western societies in the Central African Republic men of the Aka tribe are accustomed to interacting with their young, in a way which western experts are now advising to be best practice.

“They soothe, clean and play with their babies, and spend more time holding them than fathers in any other society. Their devotion has earned them the title of “the world’s best dads” from online commentators…”

Sophie Hardach

In conclusion although society expects more from fathers nowadays, more can still be done collectively to make it more of a reality. Equal pay and incentives would be a good place to start.