The roles of fathers have progressively evolved.
Economics, education, new parenting ideas and values have all brought about this change.
Other possibilities, such as telecommuting, have also opened up avenues for them to work from home and take care of their families as well.
New age fathers are prevalent these days. But there was once when this concept was non-existent.
The Traditional Father
In most traditional families where affection, care, emotions were not shown openly.
Fathers did not verbally or openly communicate their care and love. Most relied on their own experience to navigate through their domestic life.
Children did not have many opportunities to be near their fathers. Fathers were authoritative, and usually the sole breadwinner of the family.
Who Is The New Age Father?
Today’s new age father is a change from the authoritative and disciplinarian figure.
These dads have taken a transformation. They can be domestically independent, even taking over some of the nurturing responsibilities that were traditionally done by women.
He can be the gadget dad who wires up the family’s technological needs. He can be the housekeeping dad who cooks, drops and picks up his children from school.
He does not concern himself to a certain fixed gender role. He changes nappies and pushes strollers.
He spends more time with his families. He opts to stay at home when necessary.
He can be sporty, cool, and very hands-on. He can be single, married, adoptive, or a step-parent.
He does not hesitate to help to tie his daughter’s hair when necessary. He is not just a family provider, but a nurturer, mentor, and coach.
While this new age father is more prevalent in western cultures, there are also traces of them in eastern societies as well.
⇒ Related Read: Parenting Styles: East vs West 5 Major Parenting Differences
Why Father Involvement Is So Important
When men become more reachable, compassionate, and patient, they will influence the next generation. Boys look to their fathers as their role models, and girls form an impression of how their husbands should be.
Aside from addressing moral values, the new age dad provides emotional, and discipline support for their families.
The process of inclusion is critical for men to stay committed to their families, and in turn build stronger marriages.
This progress has also brought about a domestic change. Fathers are no longer the family’s sole earner.
More parents are now sharing their household and children’s responsibilities as they find themselves handing similar work pressures.
However, this new hands-on role is not a walk in the park and some men are struggling to juggle their career and fatherhood.
A study by Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology followed a group of middle-class British first-time fathers over an eight-month period from pregnancy to when their child was six months old.
All were enthusiastic about parenthood and rejected the image of fathers as the main provider and a “disciplinarian” figure.
But when interviewed several months on, they admitted their struggles to do both, due to a combination of financial and social factors.
Juggling fatherhood and a career is not easy. It takes time, patience, practice and letting go. And knowing you’re not alone.
Read how these working dads do it:
- Kelvin Mok, who lost his wife to cancer
- Single Father Eric Kwek, who strives to be his daughter’s best friend
- What is Desmond Choo’s secret behind balancing his career and family
- Actor and ‘Superdad’ Brandon Wong reflecting on his parenting style
- Supporting a family of five on less than $1,200 a month
- Minister Baey Yam Keng, juggling MP duties and family time
For inspiration, watch Glen Henry’s TED Talk sharing how got his superpowers through fatherhood.
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