Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A father is a parent

The subject line of this post seems like a truism, and yet in our society, dads who spend substantial time with their children, while increasingly common (at least in my generation and younger), are still treated as a bit of an amusing anomaly. This does a disservice to all involved.
Scour the parenting forums on the Internet and you’ll find the common lament that "DH" (darling husband) expects a medal whenever he "babysits" junior for a few hours. I have little sympathy for DH in these cases, but maybe a step in the right direction would be to stop using language that suggests hired help — to stop referring to DH's job in the same terms as somebody who could legitimately stick his hand out at the end of his shift and demand a tip. DH isn’t babysitting, he’s parenting, and just changing that one word changes, for me at least, all sorts of connotations.
Indeed. Dads shouldn't feel like oddballs at baby/parent classes, whether it's yoga or music or just supervised play, and they shouldn't need handholding or head-pats to get through a day. Parenting works best as a team sport, and men's participation, and the acceptance of same, will increase when they're treated as regular teammates, not subs.

(via kottke)

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