“Sorry. We did not find any results with the search terms you provided. Please try your search again.” I’ll leave you to wonder for a second what I was searching for on the Barnes & Noble magazine database. Frustrated at finding nothing, I searched for “parents” and got 59 results. Of the first 10, one had only text on the cover; of those with cover photos, nine had babies or toddlers, seven had moms (or mom-models), and one had a dog. Maybe you can guess who was missing. I went through the other 6 screens of 10 magazines at the site. Kudos to Family Digest and Catholic Digest – the only ones with a dad (the former, further exceptional in that it had an African American family). Oh, the first search of course was for “dad” or “fathers” – no magazines turned up.
With Father’s Day ahead I’m thinking about dads and moms. Cheers to moms!!! Especially those who parent the 30% of all American children who won’t have a dad present at home. Moms are rocking it out. Not just leading at home but often at work as well.
And kudos to so many dads stepping up in new ways. But Man! we’ve got a long way to go with so many men not stepping up, and so many of us trying to adjust to the new rules. Still, the future can be golden. As men increasingly step up to the opportunity to lead at home, we’ll have stronger and happier children, grateful and freer women, and men who are more whole and fulfilled. It’s the trifecta – everyone stands to win!
So as we enter Father’s Week (heck, we need much more than a day), how can we support men as they see and seize this fantastic opportunity to lead at home, and sometimes to lead our wives from behind?! Here’s some conversation-starter questions and an invitation for you to share yours:
1. Ask a man this week what’s the best part of being a dad (and or grandpa).
2. Ask a man to what degree he sees his leading at home as an opportunity and to what degree he sees it as obligation.
3. Ask a man if it’s better to be a husband/dad/man now, or when his dad was living the role. How does he see the role changed and changing?
4. Ask a man what he was raised to think “strength” is, and what he would say “strength” is today.
5. Ask a boy what he thinks about becoming a stay-at-home dad for part of his period of child-rearing when he grows up.
I wonder two more things and invite your thoughts about them and/or the conversation-starters above. First, to men in particular: are you more comfortable talking about these things with a woman or with another man? Talk to me! To men and women: how (or should we) change the way we are raising men in this world of women’s ascendancy? How do we prepare boys for roles that men my age were never trained for?
It’s a cool time to be a dude. I only wish I had more years and more young children to continue to learn to be a good dad and to
Lead with my best self,