One Great DadA funny thing is happening on the CNN website. Two dads are duking it out on the topic of "How lame are today's fathers?" The first essay appeared on Father's Day by Jeff Pearlman imploring dads to "wake the hell up" and enjoy their kids instead of say, heading to the golf course on the weekends. In response, Josh Levs said forget that noise, and tells dads to take a break and get some rest. After all, dads are already awesome enough.
Unless Levs is talking specifically about my husband, he's so totally off the mark with this one.
The fact is that most dads think being involved means believing their kids are adorable, and being more involved than their own father's were. While this is fantastic, there is much more to being an involved dad than teaching your kids the words to, "Satisfaction."
Think you, or your partner, have this dad thing nailed? Take this quiz to find out if you're an involved dad or not.
- What size diaper does your toddler wear?
- How much money does your babysitter/nanny make per hour?
- What's her name?
- Who is your child's BFF?
- How many times did your child wake up in the middle of the night last week?
- When is your child's next well-visit at the pediatrician?
- What is your pediatrician's name?
- Is your child up-to-date on her vaccines?
- What is your child's temperament when you take him to the grocery store?
- What is the hottest topic at the pre-school PTA meeting?
If you can answer 8 - 10 of these questions correctly, you so do rock as a dad. Got 4 - 7, you need to wake up a bit. If you got three or less correct, you're seriously missing out on fatherhood.
To really connect to your kids you've got to be present, and willing to take on even the smallest task. Assuming any part of child-rearing is "mom's job" means you're removing yourself to some degree from your child. That distance is not helpful to your progeny, or to yourself. You will wake up one day and regret that lack of closeness that can only come from being in the trenches of parenthood. And believe me, your kid will notice some day too, and she will not think you're a great dad because you taught her to drive, but don't even know that her kindergarten teacher is the person who finally explained how to tie her shoes in a way she understood.
Also consider this fact: The mother of your children is tired of doing all the grunt work by herself. Inequity at home will only drive a wedge between your family. Dads, it's time to stand up and be the man of the house. Which means embracing the diaper changes, the midnight wakings, and making the lunches. Your reward will be a happy, grateful, family that knows how lucky they are to have the best dad in the whole world.
Are you a great dad? Or do you have one in your house?