As Father’s Day approaches and we prepare to celebrate our father figures and male role models, it is important to recognize the evolving role of dads in our modern society. It is common to see fathers in their 20’s and 30’s with babies strapped to their chests and children clinging to their hands – fathers with and without mothers in attendance, taking responsibility for their children. Fatherhood is flattering.
According to studies conducted by Harvard Medical School researchers, male mice are biologically designed with the same neural circuitry for parenting as female mice. These parenting neural circuits can be activated or repressed based on the frequency of their use, which explains why male mice have been observed building nests and protecting their pups. Researchers involved in these studies theorize that similar circuits are likely present in humans.
With changing economic trends and the feminist movement allowing women to seek more satisfaction and success in the work world, men have increasingly stepped up to help manage and maintain childcare in their households. Information shared by the Pew Trust indicates that in over five million households, women now have the ability to earn more than men. The Pew Trust assessment projects faster growth among jobs that women have traditionally held, predicting that men may be called on more and more to become the front line of childcare, further developing their fathering and parenting skills.
Based on these and other indications, social roles are changing, bringing about a broader array of fathering skills which may have always existed, but are now being documented and brought to the forefront of modern society.
“Fathers contribute to the proper socialization of children. The lack thereof can result in situations present in many inner cities,” says Ray Herndon, Supervisor of Case Management at Diversus Health. “This is not the only factor in play. There are many variables that contribute to the proper rearing of children.”
Fathers are critical to the family structure and the development of our children. It is significant for fathers to become emotionally engaged by getting to know their children and allowing their children to know them, or male figures who can stand in as healthy role models when fathers are absent.
“I know of no mentally stable father who would not do their best to make sure that their family is cared for,” says Herndon. “I think there is a specific design to families which require a two-parent presence to properly socialize children. When we do not have that, trauma can result.”
There is no one right way to be a good father. Great parenting looks different from one man to the next. On this Father’s Day, let’s honor all the fathers who are nurturing, express their love, work hard to support their family, and step up to be front-line caretakers. Thank you, dads. Happy Father’s Day!
*If you or someone you love needs help, request an appointment with one of our mental health providers at Diversus Health today. We seek to provide mental health and well-being for all. If you need immediate assistance, call our crisis hotline at 844-493-8255, or text ‘TALK’ to 38255.