STRAIT-ON – HOW THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT HAVE CHANGED THE ROLE OF FATHERS IN A CHILD’S LIFE

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(Role of the fathers)

When I was a child and for a long time thereafter, it was always, “Wait till your father gets home.” That was usually a sign of some punishment mothers were shoving off on the falters. Over the years, that practice has declined. With the banishment of corporal punishment boys, especially have no longer seen their fathers as the guy with the belt.

When women began to be a big part of the workforce during and after World War II, more responsibility for child-rearing moved over to the fathers. Slow at first, but gradually increased.

It was not until the ten or fifteen years that I became aware of the shift. It dawned on me when I began to notice more and more men bringing their small children with them to the grocery store, but more so in the coffee shops, I hound in the mornings.

It was osmosis that had to happen with mothers busy at jobs, which often brought higher wages than their spouses. So more and more fathers have become more homebodies than ever before. Apparently, they have accepted the shift with more ease than fathers of previous times, some of whom would almost die at the idea of becoming what was always considered to be a mother’s role in their lives. I can well recall when the hand rocking the cradle was always the mother who took care of the moral and religious aspects of child-rearing.

Something took place in the family that was an astonishment, whether we liked it or not. Whoever heard of a house husband until the women’s rights movement moved into high gear, to some, it was a bitter change. To others, it was a welcome change, especially by mothers who more than appreciated their husbands sharing the everyday duties of child-raising. One noticeable change is that more and more fathers are beginning to show up at PTA meetings than ever before.

One study cites the changes thusly: Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home. Involved falters – especially biological fathers – bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring. They provide protection and economic support and male role models. They have a parenting style that is significantly different from that of a mother and that difference is important in healthy child development. – David Popenoe (NY Free Press 1996)

It is said that fathers encourage competition, engendering. Mothers promote equity, creating a sense of security. Dads emphasize conceptual communication. Moms major in sympathy, care and help, all of which emphasize the importance of relationships.

One either agrees or disagrees with these concepts. Still, most of the theorists on the subject believe it is a beautiful attitude that enhances a child’s chances of growing into more solid adulthood. Most mothers I’ve spoken to about the subject have the attitude of “it’s about time.” and see, there you have it. Just sayin’

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