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The New Era of Super Dads

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Show fathers how much you appreciate their efforts to balance work and family this Father’s Day.
superdadsI can recall a Mother’s Day when my family treated me to a special “Mom’s Luncheon”. The event was fantastic, and the meticulous attention to detail was unmatched. On Father’s Day, my 3-year-old daughter and I brought my husband to the same hotel that caters to mothers so elaborately. We were shocked by the low level of service it offered to fathers. My husband even made the statement, “Mothers are treated like gold, while fathers are treated as silver or bronze.” The monotonous mantra of the plight of the working mother has been prevalent for decades now, but few have given working fathers their due credit.

Yes, many would argue that men generally have an easier position in the traditional family dynamic: They go to work, come home and pay for the food on the table. But by defining a father’s value by how much money he earns, we not only diminish dads; we also shortchange society.

Most working dads aspire to share equally in care-giving with their spouse — and many are thwarted in their desire to spend more time at home because of age-old perceptions of men’s roles. But it’s also partly because men want to have the best of both worlds. While many men are craving more time at home with their children, a large percentage are plagued with their incessant desire to excel at work.

This generation of fathers works as hard and for as many hours as prior generations, and faces at least as many financial pressures in a world with little job and financial security. Today’s dad has tripled the time he spends caring for his children, and does twice the amount of housework compared to fathers of generations past. Half of working dads will admit that they find it very difficult to balance work and family obligations. In fact, fathers today report more work/family conflict and stress than working mothers.

Speaking of working mothers, we have the tendency to overanalyze and criticize our male spouse’s parenting techniques. Many mothers get fussy when it comes to roughhousing, but most dads instinctively realize that regular rough-and-tumble time is part of parenting. Dads are more apt to get outside and throw the ball around or indulge in a playful wrestling session with the kids. These are great and essential ways to help children, boys and girls alike, expend energy and practice motor skills.

Then there’s professional life and its impact on kids: Men tend to go for a promotion or take the lead on a major assignment, even if their qualifications don’t meet the requirements. They often nurture a spirit of competition, and encourage kids to keep score, celebrate wins and deal with losses in a sportsmanlike manner.

I am delighted to say that I have experienced all of this firsthand through observation of my own husband with our daughter. He does an amazing job of bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan and nurturing the needs of our daughter, while still embracing his masculinity. He is a true inspiration, and a real “Super Dad” in both my daughter’s eyes and mine.

This new era of Super Dads certainly lends a tremendous helping hand to us working moms, and it’s imperative to show our appreciation and respect. I consciously show my appreciation and love for my?husband every chance I get. He has always given to others, provided for his family and showed?love to his little girl and his wife. Now it’s my turn to give to him — and I encourage every reader who has the luxury of still having a stand-up husband and/or father in their life to do the same this Father’s Day.

7 Ways to Show Dad Some Love??

1. Hugs and kisses.
Hugging someone you care about can ease stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and even boost positive memories.

2. Thank him for working hard.
Words of appreciation possess feel-good properties that could last a lifetime. Gratitude causes us to pause and value the good. Dads treasure gratitude.

3. Watch a game on TV with him.
There’s no question that it can be hard to sit through a sporting event, especially if that really isn’t your cup of tea. But Dad will understand and appreciate the quality time spent doing something that brings him joy.

4. Hold his hand.
This may seem simple, but it’s been proven that most men respond to and experience love through physical touch. This innocent gesture floods our bodies with oxytocin (a bonding hormone) that makes people feel secure and trusting, and also brings back that nostalgic feeling when Daddy was the center of his child’s world.

5. Play chess with him.
OK, it doesn’t have to be chess. Any sort of thought-provoking game that allows an insight into the other person’s thought?patterns is a good way to show love.

6. Allow Dad to enjoy his man cave.
Thirty minutes to one hour without interruption is a godsend to the working father. All men need their “me” time to re-energize.

7. Show Dad once a week — not once a year — that you appreciate him.
Bringing him breakfast in bed, fixing him a cup of coffee or participating in his favorite activity on a regular basis will increase his sense of importance in the family dynamic.