STAY AT HOME DADS – A Shift in Trend
If you turn on the television you will see a Mother seeing Dad off to work and then tending to the children and baking some brownies for the upcoming bake sale. In actuality, such a lifestyle in America rarely reflects the real modern day family.
The number of stay-at-home dads has increased in popularity and occurrence over the years and is notably on the rise in Texas. Could a reversal of old traditional roles be on the increase in this recession? Women are less affected by layoffs and have a better legal posture due to Affirmative Action. Recent studies from the Pew Research Center found a third of all wives earn more than their husbands. Or, is it simply a honest and legitimate desire for some men who recently became fathers in the past decade to be the primary caregiver? Whatever the reason is, many men enjoy it, and many current studies are positively supporting this untraditional position.
Researchers and psychologists are finding a father’s role to be as or more influential than that of a mother in the first five years of the child’s development and that fathers play a key role in the “gender” role identification of their children. Some proclaim that having the dad as the primary caretaker properly prepares children for life lessons. Mothers reassure their small ones during a frustrating situation, while fathers encourage their little ones to manage the situation. Statistics have shown that children are smarter with a stay-at-home dad and are less likely to focus on gender issues, such as a “No Boys Allowed” sign outside their bedroom door. A father’s guidance can promote a greater level of curiosity, greater emotional balance, and a stronger sense of confidence. The Center for Successful Fathering in Austin, Texas cites that fathers who are an active participant in parenting produce children who makes higher grades, have greater ambition, show fewer anxiety disorders, and enjoy a reduced risk of juvenile delinquency or teen pregnancy.
Mothers are getting a pretty good deal as well. They have the security in knowing that their babies are being looked after by a loved one. This relieves stress and worry that occurs while children are in day care. Apart from the safety and family treatment of their children, mothers know that a strong bond is forming between their little one and dad. Fathers who work outside the home sometimes have a difficult time connecting with their babies, but that doesn’t appear to hold true for mothers. Mothers can build bonds despite working outside of the home and not spending as much time with their children. No one can be 100% sure why this holds true, it just appears to be the case. Mothers can also find comfort in knowing that the fathers will instill values. Its one thing knowing your child is being molded by someone else’s values; it’s quite another knowing you are paying top dollar for it. Fortune Magazine reported that over a third of its “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” had a stay-at-home spouse.
As far as social integration, stay-at-home dads may have an advantage. For example, at school the “alpha” mom doesn’t feel threaten by a dad taking a leading role in the PTA, nor does a dad feel like he has to compete with the “alpha” mom. People are more likely to cater to a father when he walks into a store with his children, whereas if the mom walks in with kids she often receives a look like: Please don’t let her children break anything.
What are the disadvantages of dad staying at home? A father who chooses to stay home and not work may suffer from the employment gap. Future potential employers may think they have lost or reduced their business skills and expertise when trying to reenter the work field. Alternatively, not all dads who stay home choose not to work. The numbers of stay-at-home dads consist of not only fathers who do not work, but also fathers who work part time or work from their homes. Another disadvantage may be that the arrangement is simply not financially workable, so the family may struggle with implementing their decision.
The mom stays at home trend has shifted and the growing idea of Stay-At-Home Dads is becoming an accepted reality in today’s world. In the next five years, you may turn on the television and see dad seeing mom off to work and then tending to the children, and possibly even baking some brownies for the upcoming bake sale.
Stay-at- home dads are still fighting old myths and prejudices, but make no mistake: kids are in very good hands with dad.