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The Evolution of the Role of Fathers

Dr. Kyle Pruett AAs I look back on my experiences as a father across a few decades, it is evident that the role of fathers and expectations in society has significantly changed.  More men today are physically and emotionally engaged with their children than before the industrial revolution, especially the younger ones. Co-parenting is the expectation among most newly marrying couples; the women want the help, and the men want to be closer to their kids than they were to their fathers. With support from women and society, increasingly active fathering is crossing many social and economic barriers.

And this is quite a good thing – for the men, the women, but most especially their children. Most men figure parenting out on the job (just like women) but they do it best when they don’t try to mother (which of course they really can’t) – comforting, disciplining, problem-solving, rough-housing, teasing in their own fashion. The science to date reassures these men – and maybe more importantly their spouses – that children respond positively to these differences, wind up able to manage and enjoy life better when they have a positively engaged dad or trusted fathering figure in their lives – the earlier the better.

Enjoy fatherhood — and know you are making a world of a difference.