How Dads Are Changing The Way They Parent

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Photo is not with article, I just like it. Taken by Scott Munn.

This is an article I was featured in recently in Parents Canada Magazine for Father’s Day.

A few decades ago, most talk of fathers’ roles had a straight-up Don Draper-style emphasis on breadwinning. Toronto dad Michael Cusden remembers his dad “just kind of came home from work, had dinner and read the paper and then we went to bed. That’s what dad was to us.” A much more hands-on father, Michael is a digital marketing professional and creator of a blog called Like A Dad. He says the upside with today’s model is, “I know my kids way better. I know what they like. I know their personalities. I know how their day was.” While Michael admits that balancing it all can be stressful, he says, “My dad says he kind of wished he lived in a generation where he got to do it.”

We thought it was time to ask dads what is life like for them today. What are their new struggles, joys and expectations? Here’s what we learned.

Today, leagues of engaged modern dads like Michael are slowly refashioning what fatherhood looks like. For example, 2011 Statistics Canada figures found that 30 percent of eligible fathers filed for parental leave benefits in 2010 – a nine-fold increase over the previous six years. StatsCan also reported in 2011 that the number of stay-at-home dads had tripled over 30 years; and that the number of families headed by single dads is rising.

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Video: Meet The Three Pregnant Dads

Have you seen these guys in the UK?

Backache, swollen breasts and the constant urge to pee: Meet the DADS wearing 33-pound ’empathy bellies’ to experience the pain of being nine months pregnant. These three fathers are wearing two-and-a-half stone baby bumps for a month.

Now I truly believe you can’t fully replicate the true experience a woman has being pregnant, but this would at least shed some light on how uncomfortable it is.

But it is just a suit. I would guess there is much more stress and worry when you know that there is a living person in there and not just weight.

Props to these guys for trying it.

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My Son’s First Toronto Blue Jays Game

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Well, that’s another experience checked off my dad bucket list.

On July 23rd, I took Harrison to his first Major League Baseball game and it was at the Rogers Centre to see the Toronto Blue Jays.

Seemed fitting since Harrison has been wearing a Blue Jays hat almost every day since he was two.

Ever since we moved back to Toronto in May, a baseball game was on the list of things we would do over the summer. Then it worked out that the Boston Red Sox would be in town. That meant a lively crowd and a fun atmosphere to watch a game.

As a sport to sit and watch, baseball might not be as exciting for a four-year old to watch. We have been to hockey and basketball games before and the action is always moving. Baseball has its own pace that can be a little slow at times.

But this was Harrison’s first professional sporting event, so that was much more to see and experience than what was happening on the field.

There was the size of the stadium, the big screen, the ballpark food and just watching all of the other fans.

I am not sure who was more excited to go to be honest.

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Video: Johnson&Johnson – All For the Love

I know we just had Father’s Day last weekend, but I hope we all don’t stop celebrating dad. Just like mom, dads deserve year-round love. Johnson and Johnson knows that for sure.

They know it’s time to celebrate dads, too.

I don’t have to tell you that fathers play an important – and sometimes overlooked – role in the development of children. Moms and dads do this and I hope one day we can get to the point where it is just parenting and we don’t have to pit moms and dads against each other.

More than just “male moms,” dads bring a unique set of parenting qualities to the table. From the way they play with kids to the way they communicate, the way dads love has been shown to have a great impact on how a child grows up.

I am always amazed at parents, particularly moms, who raise their kids on their own. It must be tough.

Watch this trailer for Distinctly Dad.

 

 

In the posted video, Distinctly Dad, we meet three dads who are positively impacting their children’s lives. Just by being dads. And we learn that one of the most difficult things for fathers to realize is how irreplaceable they are.

Distinctly Dad is part of the Johnson & Johnson #howloveworks effort – a journey to discover how love has such a powerful impact on those we care about most. The video will explore evidence and anecdote, science and story. And together, find out how love works.

I invite you to take a look. Does it remind you of home? Maybe another dad you know?

 

 

Please share this story and help spread the importance of dads.