How to Identify a Great Dad (QUIZ)


is your husband an involved dad
One Great Dad
A 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.


  1. What size diaper does your toddler wear?
  2. How much money does your babysitter/nanny make per hour?
  3. What's her name?
  4. Who is your child's BFF?
  5. How many times did your child wake up in the middle of the night last week?
  6. When is your child's next well-visit at the pediatrician?
  7. What is your pediatrician's name?
  8. Is your child up-to-date on her vaccines?
  9. What is your child's temperament when you take him to the grocery store?
  10. 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?

child care, play, toddler development


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RanaA... RanaAurora

Seriously, those are such small things but I totally agree, it's THOSE things that really let you know how involved a dad is. My husband has gone to the grocery store WITH me, but he's a homebody. He tries to make his own rules and doesn't get why the kids freak -- well, dude, they're used to MY rules. So behavior at a store? No, he doesn't know what they're like when it's just with me, and he doesn't take them alone, but that's by our own choice -- he would if I asked him to.
(The picture pains me though... that kind of carrier is terrible for babies!)

ArmyW... ArmyWifeAshlie

My husband couldn't tell you the answer to most of those questions. He doesn't take our son to the dr, he's been maybe 1-2 times. He's often working days, weeks, months on end...

He's a very involved father in other ways. I don't think those questions tell you if someone is a great dad or not.

goobs1 goobs1

I can't imagine my husband not knowing the answer to ALL of these questions. Why as a mom would you allow your husband to get away with being a deadbeat? We are equal partners and I would not have married or procreated with anyone who did not share that philosopy. I don't understand why any woman would?

Cacho... Cachorritos

I have a winner at home, thank heavens! Actually, I wouldn't have had children with a man that was not as committed as he is. It's also super important that we moms don't fall into the "gatekeeper" mode, even by mistake. Dads all have their way of taking care of the little one, and most likely will be doing it differently than we do (I'm talking details here, like how to give a bath or get the squirt to fall asleep). I have to constantly police myself and make sure I don't intrude. When baby was an infant, he had to flat out tell me that if he needed help, he'd ask for it- to give him the space he needed to figure out how to do it- not unlike the learning curve I had to master as a new mom myself. Fair enough. It was worth trusting him ;o)

Jessn... JessnJesse3

My husband works 6 days a week sometimes 7. He works hard so that me and my son can live well. Just because he doesn't know some of these questions, doesn't mean he is not a good dad. Not only does he work tirelessly and provide for us but when he IS off he always has the baby and spends time with us. He is also very intuitive to what the baby needs and how he feels. Sometimes he knows when the baby is thirsty/tired -whatever, before I do! When My son was born and weighed 4lbs 12oz he was at the hospital everyday after work and would change my sons diapers. he got to bathe him and do lots of things for my son before I could. I didn't see my son the first 2 days in the hospital because my BP was too high to get out of bed.


miche... micheledo

The only one my hubby got wrong was how often the kids were up last week.  His response was like mine, "LAST WEEK??"  With four ages 5 and under - a better question is last night!!

Seriously though, I often forget how blessed I am.  My husband loves to play with all of our kids.  He gets on the floor every day with them - even with his bad knees and ankles.  He is always holding one, if not three children, and he takes several with him whenever he runs errands.  He is a GREAT father!

crs2442 crs2442

My husband might know the size diapers my kids wear. But he doesn't know anything about daycare, doctors or meetings. This is because he works extremely hard to provide for our family, and I work part time during the week so there is someone home to take care of all those things. If there is something important he needs to know, I tell him, and then he knows. But since I pay the bills, buy the diapers, take the kids to the doctors, go to parent teacher meetings; it is not the end of the world if he isn't "Mr. Mom". If he was the one to stay home with the kids, he would know all important details.

Its not fair to say he isn't a great dad, because he is. He spends time with the kids, he plays with them, puts them to bed, feeds them, takes them place etc. I'd be more angry if he ignored them, than if he put a size 3 diaper on my 2 yo.

crs2442 crs2442

Oh, and a "deadbeat" is NOT someone who doesn't know when their kids next Dr. appointment is!!! I know a few"deadbeat" PARENTS (not just dads), and they are much worse. Example: Not seeing your child for six months, yet refusing to pay child support. That is a deadbeat dad.

Beths... Bethsunshine

My husband has been a hands-on Dad from day one, literally. He changed our oldest son's first poopy diaper (never having changed a diaper before or even HELD a newborn baby) and got up almost as much as I did in the middle of the night when our boys were babies. He doesn't "babysit" our kids, he just does what he is supposed to do, without blinking an eye. I've never had ANY reason to worry about leaving the kids with him; I truly do not understand how someone could have a baby with someone they can't trust with his own kids.

momto... momtothemax2910

Even the busiest dad should be able to answer most of these questions. What if something happens to mom?

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