There are always things we need to improve on as parents, but before I get to that I want to talk about what we’re doing right. Parents are doing a lot of things right these days, something we may not hear a lot. Fathers in particular have improved in their parenting skills in the last 50 years, and this is something to celebrate.
Dads Are Giving More Time
Before we talk about what needs improvement, it is only fair to point out how much modern fathers are doing right. Dads spend way more time with their kids than they used to, taking time out with individual children even from the time a child is born. It is a very common sight in my neighborhood to see a young father pushing a baby or toddler in a stroller, no wife in sight. When I was a kid, I never saw a father pushing a baby stroller, alone or with his wife.
Both parents give more time to their children than in recent generations, but while mothers have approximately doubled the amount of time they spend with children in the last 50 years, fathers have nearly quadrupled the amount of time they spend with their own kids.¹ Mothers still spend more time with their kids than dads, but dads would win the prize for “most improved.”
Dads Are Giving More Depth
Fathers are also willing to be much more open with their children than our own fathers or grandfathers were. Fathers are much more likely today to talk about their feelings with their children and ask their children about their feelings. Dads admit failure in front of their kids. Dads talk with their kids about all kinds of things that most dads in the past would never be open about. Except one thing, which is the problem I’m addressing today.
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