The times they are a'changin'

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Chapter 10 briefly outlines the role of the father in parenting. According to the textbook, fathers tend to be less attentive and affectionate than mothers toward their children and spend less time with their babies.

Yet the days of the "traditional" family - with dad as breadwinner, mom as homemaker, 2.5 kids and a home in suburbia - are long gone. As more and more women enter the workforce, there is an increasing number of fathers who elect to stay at home. In 2009, there were an estimated 158,000 fathers who were primary caregivers in their household.* Phrases like "stay-at-home-dad" and "Mr. Mom" point to these changing parental roles. Check out the following trailers:

The films, while primarily aiming to provide humor, also recognize that fathers play an important role in child-rearing. But what are they saying about their capabilities? Certainly, the trailer hints at the father's lack of responsibility. (One father jokes that he caught his kid eating a cigarette.) Does the media make the same statements about mothers, or is it just reserved for fathers? What do you think?

* Source: America's Families and Living Arrangements

6 Comments

It does seem weird that the mother and father roles are switching, but they slowly are. We still tend to believe that fathers don't have what it takes to be the motherly figure as is portrayed in the media, but some can handle it just fine. In fact, some dads are better at parenting than some moms.

I think many television shows and movies imply that dad's can never be as good of mom as a mother is; however, I think it's important to realize there are many TV shows that make fun of women trying to do a man's job. For example, in the most recent episode of GCB the pastor tells the husband and wife they need to switch roles for a week so they can further appreciate the work each one puts in. The husband talks about how easy it is to cook (as he makes pizza for dinner every night) and to clean (as he uses paper plates so he doesn't have to do the dishes). The wife on the other hand struggles to build a shelf at her new job. I think it's an interesting concept how the roles are starting to swap and overlap. Interesting post!

Not to be mean, but we all know that the opposite sex can't do certain things that the others cant. staying home to take care of newborn children is a lot of responsibility, one that I think is best left to mothers. Although fathers can learn to take care of the children, there's something special that I feel mothers have that fathers just cant develop in their relationship with their kids.

Given the current state of the economy and the availability of education out there for both sexes, I can understand the gradual shift in parental care. Sometimes, it just comes down to whatever parent has the most secure and stable job works while the other stays home to raise the kids. Looking at the media, I think that the media will always portray fathers as the less responsible figure in a parent pair because common stereotype depicts women as primary caregivers and men as more impulsive and less likely to form a bond with kids.

Wow this is a really interesting topic. While I think it is very important for a mother to be with the child especially in the early stage of the game, I think it become less so later. Stereotyping men as "Big dumb males", leads to people seeing men unfit to raze children. I bet we can all think of at least one example where the male is the better parent of the two.

In the end, I guess it comes back to whoever can get a steady job and provide the best for the family. Although I've always felt that dads would never be as good of a "primary care giver" than moms. I mean, dads are so often more of the fun parent, taking you out to baseball games, eating ice cream on the weekends, watching movies together. Women seem to have the patience and attention to detail needed to remember when its time for soccer practice, when a project is due, and all the little stuff. I also think women are generally better at comforting and connecting with a younger child that men are. Of course, there is a lot of influence from gender roles here, but hopefully Mr. Moms can learn to take care of their kids with the same amount of attention and detail a traditional mom would.

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This page contains a single entry by pierr038 published on March 25, 2012 9:34 PM.

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