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CHALLENGES of Fatherhood

By Jackie Burrell
Sunday, June 15th, 2008 at 5:00 am in Dads.

Lafayette dad Derek Taylor (Dean Coppola, Contra Costa Times)
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there! In this morning’s Times, we celebrate the superdads out there — men like Derek Taylor (pictured above) who take fatherhood far beyond Ward Cleaver’s cardigan and slippers. There’s been a huge cultural shift in fathers’ roles in the last generation. And now the 21st century dad — much like today’s super moms — is expected to juggle career and intense family involvement, change diapers, drive carpool, coach the soccer team, and keep romance alive. That’s a tall order. Take a look at the story, then click “comments” and tell us, what are the biggest challenges dads face today?

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No Responses to “CHALLENGES of Fatherhood”

  1. Mike Says:

    Challenges for fathers in the 21st century? Insuring that they get equal access, and equal financial/tax considerations when a relationship or marriage ends. While things are getting better for fathers who fight for their rights and can afford legal representation, the family court system is still biased towards mothers when determining the outcomes to these matters.

    Fathers must also challenge the notion that parenthood is difficult for us, or that we are at some “natural” disadvantage when compared to mothers. Men can give their children every bit of care that they need, other than breastfeeding. The mother can express milk ahead of time and provide it to the father so he can feed the child, or he can purchase one of the commercial formula products himself. We men are not afraid to feed, change, bathe, administer medicine, etc. to our children. We are intelligent and can tap resources for the things a new parent may be unfamiliar with. Mothers don’t instantly know everything with their first child either, and tap the same resources as needed. As long as the myth of the “inept father” persists (commercials, TV shows, articles) men will continue to be denied equal access to their children.

    More importantly, fathers will have to show their children what family is. We must take greater control over the process of birth control. We cannot and should not rely on women to be responsible for these choices. In fact, when we do so, we unwittingly put control of our parental and financial future in the hands of women who may not be concerned for our own wellbeing or or relationships with our children. We must make better relationship choices prior to fathering children.

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