If you had asked the question “what does fatherhood” mean this side of ten years ago, you’d have received a very different answer to what you’d get right now. There is absolutely no doubt about it, the changing roles of modern society mean that what we might have once been held as sacrosanct is now viewed with suspicion, and what might have seemed “traditional” or good is now held to a very different standard. We’re not assuming where you stand on the “modern dad” standard, but irrespective of what that might mean to you, your landscape looks very different today.
So how do you know if you’re pursuing the “right” channels as a father? At what point are you relying on “programming” versus what our current society would be asking of you? Well, we may not have a single answer to that question, but we can help you navigate the field of modern-day “fatherism”.
Gentlemen, in case you’ve been living under a rock you might not yet know that simply being the man you were born to be, is just no longer sufficient. With the changes that we have come to know and expect from modern-day society, you’re also expected to know the difference between simply being the type of guy that strives to “take care of his family”, versus the guy that is switched on and “woke” enough to know that sometimes what you view as child-rearing or family raising, simply isn’t the standard anymore. So, how are you expected to know the difference? At what point do you differentiate between being the “cool” dad versus the dad who simply knows “better” for his children and family?
TODAY’S “DAD” STANDARD
Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you’re a “traditional” dad or if you’re a dad from the modern age, there are a few things that are as true for the one as for the other. When you have been made privileged enough to be the steward of a new life, then you need to know few things, and being a dad on its own is one thing, but keeping your marriage or relationship alive is something altogether different besides, especially if things are not quite going as you might have wanted them to.
Spending time with your children is how they will learn what is important. It’s not good enough to just be around you need to be present and irrespective of what your personal beliefs may or may not be, helping our brood come to terms with what’s happening around them is how you will also determine how much value you can add to their lives, and it’s not an exact science either.
You as an individual are perfectly entitled to be as liberal or as conservative as you wish, what differentiates modern dads is their ability to stand by their own belief systems while encouraging individuality in their children. This “duality” is what drives children towards their own beliefs.
BE THE MAN
It doesn’t matter if you are in a “traditional” marriage or if you’re a single dad or a same-sex father, the one thing that kids will always come back to, is if you were there. In this area, you get to fall back onto your genetic or “traditional” makeup as much as you want to. There is not a girl child in this world that didn’t yearn for her “daddy” when things didn’t work out according to plan, and if you think that your children don’t need you as a “man”, you’re wrong.
QUALITY, OVER QUANTITY
We could all be forgiven for thinking that in order to be “a family man” we need to copy what our fathers and grandfathers did. This is not necessarily the truth…unless it is and the only true way of knowing this, is being present and accounted for over longer periods of time. If you’re battling to father your children because of divorce or separation, understand this: fighting for your children and doing so visibly will ensure that you have at the very least, a basis from which to build a future relationship. Look, we get it, it isn’t easy. The world is changing in vibrant ways that no one really understands, but the consistency of always being available irrespective of your circumstance will go a very, very long way.
It’s never easy navigation the field of fatherhood, heck it isn’t easy being a mom either. You have so many more “things” to believe in and avenues to pursue. If you don’t understand or indeed appreciate the importance of “gatekeeping”, then you won’t really understand how important it is for us as parents to guide our children without “instructing” them.
As we age, our hormone levels change and our cognitive ability changes too, so keeping healthy and fit means that you can do more with your offspring for longer periods, if you’ve been feeling fatigued or not quite “in the game”, you may want to check out hormone replacement therapy for men.