Fatherhood is still popular and we all have our heroes. Today is Father's Day. Bill Cosby used to be America’s very popular father when we all tuned in to his TV show decades ago. Now we aren’t sure if he was such a great example of a father. Handsome Brad Pitt has a family of lots of children of all races and sizes. His marriage failed and now he has limited access to those kids. But then we have the new famous dads like JZ who just had twins and George Clooney who just had his set of twins. Beyoncé’s post that revealed she was pregnant again became the most liked post EVER. Today we can celebrate our own dads especially if they were a good presence in our lives. Spend some time with your dad or visit a dad. There was never so much fun to say that Daddy’s home or we are going to play in the yard with Dad. It was always fun. Dads were known to be the providers of the family or whose main function was to come up with child support money for the kids. A website called Fatherly aims to suggest different ways to enjoy your kids.
It used to be that playground would be full of mothers or babysitters with the children. Now at least on weekends when a lot of fathers are home we can see them pushing the baby carriages and watching the kids on the playground. Men involved in their kid’s lives in a deep way is revolutionary. Things are changing. Now 80% of new fathers are the primary grocery shopper. Today’s Dads are different. Nearly 2/3rds of households have two working spouses. A Boston study found that most Dads feel that childcare should be equally divided yet only about 1/3rd actually get there. Whatever the numbers are for you, every partnership is some kind of balance when it comes to raising children. Being a active parent is a life changing decision that will last at least 20 years of your life.
Just look at the commercials for products on TV and you will probably find him portrayed as everyday heroes. Years ago the Dad came home, smoked his pipe and read his newspaper and it was the wife who cooked and cleaned and dealt with child rearing issues. But she didn’t have to go to work. Now women are just too busy to do it all! Then we had the failed Dads on TV like Al Bundy, Homer Simpson or Archie Bunker who just didn’t get that fatherhood thing just right. We laughed but it was sad too. Things have gone a long way since those shows where father didn’t know what is best. In 1966 it was President Johnson who set aside the third Sunday in June for Father’s Day. It was still a time when Dads paid the bills and dished out the spankings but not much else. Now Dads are much softer and play with their kids too. Studies prove that kids that have a lot of attention from their parent’s do better in school. Everyone accomplishes more in their lives when they are happy with the people they love like family.
A generation ago there wasn’t even any research on these subjects being performed. The Fatherhood Project is a program out of Harvard’s MGH Massachusetts General Hospital that even studies post-partum depression in men. Its Dad’s Matter Program is part play date and part therapy for men struggling with their new life as a father now. Now fathers’ spend nearly triple the time they spend with their kids than Dads used to. Men now care more about what their kids will remember and say about them 20 years from now. The folk song called The Cat’s In the Cradle by Harry Chapin didn’t become famous for no particular reason. The lyrics say a real sad story about generations of fatherhood that just never had the time to spend with each other. Make some time for togetherness today!