Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Do Men Change Diapers - SUMMARY POST

We began this thread with the conundrum: how come every Dad I know is a New Dad, but nevertheless the statistics on father-participation have barely budged in 20 years?

It's great how the values have changed. Men everywhere seem to be doing more for their families. We gave credit to the moms who raised us. We gave some credit to the wave of divorce that broke up families 30 years ago, but gave the children of that divorce exposure to moms working and dads doing dishes. We don't give credit to sisters - apparently sisters made you less likely to be a New Dad (I'm teasing here). We learned even in Shanghai, men are intent on being New Dads.

Yet we also recognized that values haven't changed. The #1 Father's Day present is still a necktie. The indelible symbol of white collar work. Men go to jobs, that's what they do. And while some men stay home, it's still a puny fraction.

It turns out our kids are getting the message, though. When asked why their dads should be Father of the Year, not many said "because he has a job." They were twice as likely to say it "because Daddy cooks." And the #1 reason, by far, was "because Daddy loves me."


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