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Daddy on Board

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Daddy on Board

Dads are definitely getting more involved with their children. According to my friend and colleague, Dottie Lamm, MSW, they’re helping with childcare and household tasks because they want to be present for those special moments, and they want to contribute more time, focus and energy to their families.

Dottie has worked as a social worker with single mothers and with parents of emotionally disturbed children. As First Lady of Colorado from 1975 to 1987, as Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate in 1998, and as a Denver Post columnist for 17 years, she has fought for women’s rights and the well-being of children and their families. After having been “blown away” with the way in which her son and son-in-law were so involved with their new babies, compared to their own dads back in the sixties and seventies, she wrote “Daddy on Board: Parenting Roles for the 21st Century.” You can get a copy of the book by contacting: Cassandra@fulcrumbooks.com. 303-277-1623

I’m happy to share with you a recent conversation I had with Dottie.

Joanne: You say that dads are clearly on board the family boat and are even steering the ship. Can you tell us more about how that has come about?

Dottie: Wow! I originally thought, “Of course, dads are more involved than they were in my generation of child rearing. Mothers and the women’s movement have pushed them—ready or not.” Seventy-five percent of married moms with children are now in the paid work force, including sixty-two percent of college educated married moms with infants. So these two working parents are going to have to share the kid care role at home. Right? Well, yes. But I also found that even the dads whose wives were full time homemakers were getting “on board” with their babies too. There appears to be a whole new ethic and desire on the part of dads to get involved from the get-go. One dad said he felt his own dad missed out on the joys (and trials!) of early bonding.

Next: 8 tips for creating balance in a household

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Joanne Stern

Joanne Stern, PhD, is a psychotherapist with a private practice emphasizing counseling with families, parents, couples and teens. She’s a teacher, consultant, speaker, and expert guest on parenting and family topics, including communication, discipline, self-esteem, addictions, eating disorders, grief, and loss. Parenting Is a Contact Sport: 8 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Kids for Life is her first book. A mother and grandmother, she and her husband, Terry Hale, live in Aspen, Colorado.

18 comments

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6:21PM PDT on Aug 21, 2010

That's what I call progress, but still a long long way to go. Women are still a lot more involved physically, mentally, emotionally and mentally because nature wanted it that way. They are the ones who give birth....

6:49PM PDT on Aug 18, 2010

Househusbands are sexy!

6:40AM PDT on Aug 18, 2010

This is great to hear! My Dad was a wonderful, involved father and all his children benefited. Just observation on a casual basis. I noted many times the father was able to join in and play with the children more easily, unless he was one of those "tough-guy" types (ugh). Much more aware parenting going on today and it's so encouraging.

2:09AM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

I think it's important to remember that both parents can do things which work for the kids - it's not always the mother's way in a relationship is the "right" way. With my brother and his ex-wife HE was the one caring most for my niece's needs - she could easily say "I need to do this, you take care of the baby". Now with equality after the divorce my niece is at one parent for a week and then shift to the other. That sure gives my brother more time for himself to do his own things than when he was still married. So mothers can also be selfish and look to their own needs first - it's not just dads who might like time alone better than time with their children.

12:41AM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

thanks

11:38PM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

it is really useful to protect our family Thanks

9:02PM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

Why does everyone think that date night has to be expensive? What about a simple walk holding hands and admiring autumn leaves (that time is coming soon)? A picnic at a local park? A simple shared glass of wine (or hot coco) and a quiet time after the kids are in bed? Time-out to massage each other's shoulders before going to bed at night. Rent (or get an On-Demand cable movie) to watch while the kids are at a friend's or at football practice or music class or whatever? It's the one-on-one childfree intimate time together that counts, not the monetary cost....

11:44AM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

This is great! I had a great dad and I wish he was still around to love.

8:48AM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

I was fortunate to have such a wonderful father, the important man who has touched my life. I try to live as he did for he left a great legacy. My ex-husband was not a wonderful father, to busy accumulating years of anger about how much his children/wife $cost him. My son-in-law is a wonderful father who plays with, enjoys and is highly involved in raising his son.

7:15AM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

Thanks for sharing this helpful info on improving family life in our ever-changing world.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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