The images of fatherhood in the 1950s, 1960s and even 1970s is that of a father as the figurehead of the family. In many cases, the mother was the nurturing one, providing most of the day-to-day child care. Sure the father was home for dinner each night, but how often did you see them helping with homework or driving carpool. Today’s modern dad drives carpool, volunteers at school and helps with homework.
Parenting in general has changed. Now team parenting is much more common; sure, back then there were some families already doing this, but it wasn’t the norm as it is today. Modern families are using the strengths of both parents to provide their children with the support and care most appropriate. If the dad is better at math, then they help with the math homework. It isn’t just assumed that the primary job of parenting falls to the mother, even if she is staying at home. This way children see the strength of a team and how their parents can work together to provide a complete home.
Modern fathers should be applauded for being active in daily family life. Raising kids isn’t just about family vacations or holidays; it is about reading stories every night, working on school projects and meeting the bus.
As a mom raising two boys, I am so happy to have Jim setting such a profound example for our kids. He reads with Jack every night. He takes them to run errands and has them play in the garage while he is working on projects. The boys love spending time with him and he with them.
We should celebrate modern fatherhood not only on Father’s Day, but also throughout the year. Fathers can provide unique gifts to their children and are wonderful team mates to their partners.