What makes modern first time fathers different?

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Answered by: Charles, An Expert in the Healthy Living 101 Category
When a couple is expecting a child, all attention goes to the mother-to-be. Fathers on the other hand are offered no advice or support and in some cases are expected to have little to do with the child until they are old enough to learn how to play sports.

This is a very old fashioned idea of fatherhood and most modern men want to be involved in their child's life far more and from the very beginning. Society is now accepting the idea that fathers are just as important as mothers. The change is visible when you see the increase in paternity leave allowance and with custody cases which now do not automatically favour the woman. However, first time fathers are probably still unsure of what their role will be when the baby arrives and what they will be expected to do. This uncertainty in some cases could lead to frustration and in the end might require professional counselling.

Studies have shown that modern first time fathers often recall how their own Dad behaved when they were a child; a man from a different generation whose role was to put the food on the table while his wife cared for the children. Today, first time fathers remember their fathers as stern and authoritative, rarely showing emotion and then go on to say that they do not want to be like that with their own child.

In the 21st century, there is no reason to assume that the father will be the breadwinner and mother will stay at home and look after the baby. There is every chance that both parents will work, or at times the mother would go back to work and the father would take care of the children. Yet fathers who take on that role are still looked at askance by others in society, especially by older male relatives.

The world of the 1950s had very defined gender roles when it came to families and those roles have been swapped around and turned upside down in the last few decades. Fatherhood is very different from what it used to be and buying a gift for a loving and caring Dad on Father’s Day 2012 should be very different from buying a token gesture for an impersonal father in the 1950s or 1960s! In some cases the father might secretly compare the gifts they get with the gifts the mother receives on Mother’s day and might get depressed if they are not given equal importance.

When Father’s Day 2012 comes around there is every reason to make sure it is just as big a celebration as Mother’s Day, not just a tacky event created by greetings cards companies to increase profit. Modern fathers really deserve recognition and our thanks, not just for the things they do for their children and their families every day, but also for the way their attitudes have allowed the position of a father to become just as important as that of mothers when it comes to having kids.

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