Hey, nice job, guys.
By James Joiner
You know the tired stereotype of the American dad coming home from a hard day at the office to kick up his feet with a martini and the evening news while his wife is busy whipping up the roast and rearing the kids? It's dead.
What's surprising is how few people seem to be aware of it.
A new government study released a week ago clarifies this demise, polling four thousand fathers aged 15-44 between 2006 and 2010, and clearly stating that dads are intimately involved in every aspect of their child's lives. And not just middle class white dads - all men, across all race and age divides - are taking an active role. The one caveat being that men with some level of college tended to be more involved than those less educated.
The study highlighted that, among other things:
- Of those living with kids under five, nine out of ten bathed, diapered, helped them use the toilet, or get dressed at least several times weekly.
- Two out of three read to their kids several times a week
- Nine out of ten dads with kids aged five through 18 ate meals with them several times a week and discussed their days.
- Two out of three helped with homework multiple times a week.
- Nearly 90 percent of dads thought they were doing at the least a good job.
Because of course they are.
Sure, you're always going to have those degenerates who simply duck out, but that isn't relegated solely to the men. In fact, recent studies indicate that 86% of guys want children, as opposed to 66% of women, and are also more likely to self-describe as "family oriented."
Our society is geared to latch onto and sensationalize the drama. Of course the media is going to tout the story of Beyoncé's deadbeat dad over the fact that stay-at-home fathers have more than doubled in the past decade-despite the fact they apparently embarrass some working women. Who's going to click on the story of a happy, normal, everyday family, no matter what the assigned familial roles of the parents?
It's not salacious, it's boring, day-to-day, go-to-work, clean-the-house life stuff. And everyone knows that doesn't sell. But men being good fathers shouldn't be something that surprises us, or becomes a viral news story on a Friday morning.
Sometimes it's good to recognize that, you know what? The world isn't as shitty as you like to think it is.