Fathering in the 21st Century

I love how each generation of fathers are becoming more involved with childcare. My husband was much more involved with our children than his father ever was and my sons are even more comfortable changing diapers and bathing infants.
 The newest father in our family has a 2 month old son with one 2-month-oldhters. He says that he could never see himself as a father a year ago and now.. well he could not imagine missing this experience. Almost three years ago one of my sons gazed at his hour old daughter, turned to his father and said.
” I think this is the best thing I have done in my life so far!”
Just last year as his second infant daughter lay sleeping on his chest,  he turned to his  father once again and said,
” Now I understand why you and mum had so many kids.”
Fathers play such a key role in children’s lives. All our 5 grandbabies thrive on the rough, fun play that seems to come more naturally to fathers than mothers. My daughters and daughter-in-laws shake their heads and smile because dads relate so differently to their babies.
Even better, todays fathers are informed with access to so much more information; facts are a mere finger tap away. Yet there is a negative aspect to this 21st century’s technological advancements. When it comes to tiny children, though, it is all too easy to plug them in and let machines entertain, educate and babysit.
My husband and I raised 9 kids on a hobby farm where we recreated, an old-fashioned sort of atmosphere where our children were part of our work and play which I realized years later was basically a  Montessori approach to learning and educating kids.  We bought  old-fashioned sorts of toys, most did not need batteries. I suppose that we parented in an almost 1950’s style with lots of boring, free play with crayons and paper, blocks and Lego, cardboard boxes, gardening, tending pets and animals and ‘helping’ with household chores  I am pleased to see that as they parent their children, my kids are aware of the value of ” old-fashioned” play. I am proud of the four young fathers who are part of our ever-growing family.
So, Happy Father’s Day, especially to all new fathers!



2 thoughts on “Fathering in the 21st Century

  1. Thank you for a good ‘Fathers Day’ post.

    I *remember* the late ’50s, and have seen the same progression you did: fathers have been getting increasingly involved in family life and the kids’ lives. Those of us who stuck around, anyway.

    About tech: back in my ‘good old days,’ television and the telephone was the subject of anguished op-eds: it was destroying civilization. For example, teens ‘never communicated: each day they spend hours on the telephone!’ 😉

    Then there was Plato’s concern about the effects of a newfangled information storage and retrieval technology: writing. Ironically, we know about Plato’s concerns because someone wrote about his opinions.


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