We learned how to be a father by watching the fathers in our life. They learned the same way.
Throughout human history, parents parented by recalling how they were raised. In addition to that, fathers had their role as men to further shape their actions. This often meant being the leader of the family, keeping everyone in line, and protecting them from outside dangers. Because of this, fathers didn’t invest much time in the emotional well-being of their kids. Rather, fathers made sure children performed their tasks and were safe. Even as the definition of what it meant to be a man changed over time, the shape of fatherhood adjusted more slowly. For simplicity, The Modern Father will always refer to this role of fathers as traditional fatherhood.
Traditional fathers are still the norm. While there have been changes, it’s mostly been due to changes in the culture or what the 21st century requires. We also want to stress that being a traditional father is not bad. It is a role that’s well-defined, well-represented in parenting resources, and respected.
How a father’s role has changed
Over the last fifty years, there’s been a change to the father’s status as primary breadwinner. A report from the Center for American Progress states that in 64% of families, mothers bring in at least 25% of the income. Additionally, 42% of all families rely on Mom for at least half of the income. This has been a rapid change, as two generations ago only a quarter of families relied on Mom to bring home at least 25% of the income. The Great Recession further accelerated the trend away from men as breadwinner as many took a hit to their earnings and job participation. The effects still linger today.
This change has many impacts. Now instead of heading off to a job for eight to ten hours each day and letting Mom handle the kids, it might be Mom that heads out. More common is that both parents work full-time, either at the same time or in offsetting shifts. This leads to all kinds of stress and difficulties, but such situations isn’t well represented in parenting resources. To address this and more, The Modern Father was created.
We want to provide resources for all kinds of fathers, traditional or not. We strongly believe that fathers want to be more involved in the lives of their kids, even if they don’t want to step into less traditional fatherhood roles. But even traditional fathers would be less recognizable to their fathers or grandfathers, a struggle that many have experienced first-hand when taking the kids to see their grandparents.
The Modern Father
At The Modern Father, we want to create a community for fathers. Our goal it to provide resources that can help traditional fathers and others change or enhance their role as father. Some may only want to dip their toes in to the waters, while others might dive in headfirst. To be modern only means that you as a father want to do more. You want to grow, to change, to step outside of your comfort zone. While many of our articles will focus on fathers with younger children, our desire is to include items for fathers who have teens, or even older kids. It is never too late for change; you just need to work for it.
We don’t promise miracles, of course. And since every child will respond differently, so we refuse to be strict in how we present our ideas. They are all suggestions, opinions, and observations. As you likely saw in the prior section, we won’t be afraid to cite sources. But don’t assume all articles will read like a research paper. This will still be a casual site with plenty to offer all readers.
In addition to articles on parenting, we will branch out into other aspects of fatherhood. Some days you will see a review on household products. Other days there will be an article for dads who are interested in changing careers. We also need adult companions, so you’ll see a lot on finding or maintaining friendships and relationships, as well as just finding other dads. And finally, we want to help dads help their partners in child rearing.
If there is anything missing, or areas that require addressing, do not hesitate to contact us or use the comments. Our goal is to grow with the dads who turn The Modern Father into a community.
Thank you for reading, and we will see you soon.