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     Volume 6 Issue 45 | November 23, 2007 |

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It's Cool to be DAD

Syeda Shamin Mortada

Today's dads are a lot more fun.

It was not long ago that a father was someone who was deemed to be strong, serious and hard working --one would manage to see him only on weekends, reading his morning daily probably with a tea cup in his hand. Nobody had the courage to go and converse with him about the weather or even something simpler. He was the head of the family, man of the house, the breadwinner associated only with work and work related success. This epitome of power, prestige and masculinity with restrained emotionality was always seen to dominate women and all the members of the family. They sired children, yes, but never knew what to expect when their partners were expecting, never dealt with diapers or diaper rashes, they hardly participated in rearing the kids; traditionally they were only there for the conception.

At home it was the mothers the kids were attached to; in school, teachers called parents meetings only to talk to mothers; and at the doctors' instructions and prescriptions were passed on to the mothers, if a dad was ever present it was only to escort the mother and the child. Even on TVs, movies and magazines the image of fathers were of a strict and stern person whom everybody had to abide.

Things have changed, times have changed and many dads have changed and challenged the old definition of manliness. Today's fathers are not the men their own fathers were; rather they are creating a new definition, a new ideal of masculinity. Their role is no longer constrained to conception, today they are biologically and physically involved in their children's lives from the beginning and long after the child grows up, something that was unthinkable in the past. Men today are far more involved with their families, than they have been earlier; they are patient, show their emotions and express their love to their children. In fact fathers of today are beginning to act more like mothers and in some cases do an even better job. In the nuclear family set up if dads do not devote significant quality time with their children they are said to be failing as fathers. They are expected to be role models for their next generation.

There is no denying that it takes more than testosterone to make a father out of a man. Dads of today know how to cradle and comfort their babies and cope with colic.

As more women are entering the job market and working to broaden their choices at home and work, men have started to do the same.

Fathers play a crucial role in every child's physical and psychological development. Researchers suggest that children, whose fathers were involved in early rearing, tend to have higher IQ, better school performance and even better sense of humour. This is what happens when the two most important persons passionately love and deeply care about a child!

They say that a mother is worried about the survival and health of the child, the father about its future and success; the mother tells her kid to be careful the father teaches his little one to face the challenges and become strong; kids take the emotional side from their mothers and the practical side from the fathers, he is therefore better in disciplining the child and help to create socially viable children.

Fatherhood is being redefined; it has become cool to be a dad. Today they know that their unique male contribution is essential for raising healthy children. According to research males who are no longer the “men of the old mould” are better off emotionally, have better mental and physical health, better marriages and better-adjusted children. In short they keep their family happy and are happier themselves. Men of the present day have learned and acknowledged that they need their families as much as the families need fathers.


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