Do you think it's odd for dads to be involved with their kids?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 03/19/2012 ( 45 moms have responded )

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I'm just curious because my husband has been given the impression that some people do find it out of the ordinary. He mentioned it last Friday after we'd been at a birthday party for a neighbour's son. The neighbour is a single mom and my husband was playing with our 12 month old, the neighbour's 3 year old and my 7 year old. My neighbour had told him that a father playing with his daughter is something you don't see every day and then her sister agreed, but mentioned someone else they knew who did the same thing.



My husband asked me later if I thought it was strange that he was so involved with our girls (my older one is his step daughter, but no one really sees it that way since he's more involved with her than her bio father) I said 'no'. But I guess he also had the remarks about him being so involved with our daughter's back when he went to visit me and he was holding our baby. A woman around my parents' age had commented to her granddaughter ;'Now there's something you don't see every day, a father who loves his daughter'.



Now I understand that in some cases it is the norm- trust me I've experianced first hand a father just abandoning and ignoring his own child. But do you really think it's that uncommon for fathers to pay attention and play with their children?

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Sally - posted on 03/20/2012

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I'd find it odd if they weren't , having said that the few dads that iv'e seen that are not that involved are usually with mums that jump up for nappies, crying etc or just take over before the dad has a chance. What dad is going want to be involved if their treat as uncapable all the time.

[deleted account]

I think it's odd that a father would NOT want to be involved with their kids. My dad was involved with all of us, and that's going back 40 years.



I know that every parenting situation is different-some dads are involved, some are not. Some are weekend custody dads, some live in the home full time yet ignore everyone.



It's also an issue of family dynamics. If a woman ALLOWS her husband/partner/father of child to get away with NOT being an involved dad, and the guy is fully capable then I have to put the blame on the woman. If a guy comes home from work at whatever time and needs some time in his "man cave"-I'm fine with that. But I'm not fine with a guy who disregards his children. If a mom makes excuse after excuse for the father to not be involved, it's very sad and is a disservice to the child. I know a few woman who don't push their husband/partner at all to be involved with their children's lives. So please know that the above reference was made about 2 women I know in real life and no one in particular on this board. Comments like, "Oh he doesn't know the routine." (Then SHOW him the routine) or "I make lunch differently." (Then SHOW him how to prepare lunch), Don't make excuses for the dads not being a dad!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/22/2012

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I come from a broken home. i do have a step father that my mother divorced about 8 years ago. he was technically my step father for 16 years. I never met my bio father, and never will. He passed away about 17 years ago. The way I grew up, neither parent really played with their kids. just the generation thing.



That being said, I think it is very odd when a father is NOT involved with their kids. I don't like it. I intentionally fell in love and married a man that is family oriented. I did not want my kids growing up the way I did. I don't like to see parents ignoring their kids. Granted, we could be MORE involved, but I would not be with a man, or stay married to a man that was not involved.

Isobel - posted on 03/20/2012

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I actually meant it as a positive...just cause you don`t see a lot of men playing with their kids doesn`t mean they`re not.

Stifler's - posted on 03/19/2012

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I find it normal. My dad was quite involved with us despite working long hours. Damian is quite involved with our kids, he's their dad. I find it unacceptable to not be involved.

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[deleted account]

I think that in the way our culture is, a father pretty much just has to show up occasionally and support them financially and he will be congratulated for it, whereas women have to do significantly more to be considered a good mom. I think it should be expected that men pay for their kids and spend a lot of time around them

[deleted account]

Nope.. I don't think its odd or uncommon.. my hub's e one who showered n changed our girl's diapers back in the days.. of course he has to work so he's not as involved as I am but he spends his free time playing with n reading to our DD

Chris - posted on 10/29/2013

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no I don't and but a lot of men due to work commitments don't have the time to attend parties etc with their wives.
perhaps the single mothers think its unusual cos in their lives it doesn't happen very often.
my husband used to take our kids away camping for a week or 2 at a time during their holidays, as I abhor camping and I was also working. they loved it.
keep reassuring him as it was very uncommon when we were growing up, he is great

JPatrick - posted on 10/25/2013

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Seems like the question needs clarification, i.e. "is it odd for fathers to be involved with their children WITH WHOM THEY LIVE"? In other words, if there is an intact family (mom, dad and kids all living together), is it weird that dads are involved? No. In fact, I know many families where mom works and dad stays home w/kids (or the opposite), yet both still manage to be involved as much as work schedules allow.
Now, it is also quite common for dads to NOT live w/their kids for a variety of reasons -- e.g., parents divorced and mom got custody; parents were never married (and in some cases, dad did not 'want' the child to begin with). I think these are common scenarios so people like your neighbor are used to 'single mom's who do it all w/o help from dad, so seeing fathers so involved seems odd to them. There is also the old-fashioned mentality by some that moms rear the children and dads bring home the bacon -- but I think that is fading with time and now the disparity is more about family dynamics (i.e. kids living in split households).

Sally - posted on 10/25/2013

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The idea that dads shouldn't play with their kids stems from the industrial revolution when dad had to leave the home for most of the day to earn a paycheck and came home too tired to do more than eat and sleep. As schedules become more flexible, more dads are starting to allow themselves the biological imperative to be part of the family unit. A lot of dads are pleasantly surprised to see just how much they enjoy their children and want to spend more time with them.
My husband likes taking our girls to the playground much more than I do so he sees a lot of moms looking at him weird because he's not what they're used to. They come around when they see how much fun he is though.

Sally - posted on 03/27/2012

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No it's not odd. My husband is super involved. It's only odd if he doesn't because he's afraid of the bio mom.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 03/22/2012

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I guess it also depends on what you're used to. My older daughter loves that DH and his brothers (who don't have kids yet) like to play with her. She does only have one friend so far who has a good relationship with his bio dad (the same one who uses 'ass' all the time) His dad takes him to skate parks and walks him to and from school (the mom works full time) and all that other good stuff so my daughter is seeing that it's normal for a dad to be involved for the most part.

[deleted account]

We are blessed to have wonderful men in our lives who are also excellent dads to our children.Its not one bit strange but unfortunately not all women have such wonderful support in there lives.So count yourselves very lucky.I know i do.My daughters are really the very lucky ones their doted over by there dad.He thought me a thing or two about how to raise a baby lol.He helped his mother raise his younger siblings.

Momof2 - posted on 03/22/2012

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dh has been very hands on with our son even before he was actually born. i had a difficult first pregnancy and dh was always helping me do the smallest things. i needed help to bathe, he would cook all the meals and plate up the left overs so i could microwave them for lunch. he would help me get to and from the hospital when i needed to go in for iv fluids. he helped me take some of my meds i couldn't take orally. he would try to make it to Dr appointments and ultra sounds...



when our son was born I had and emergency c-section so dh stayed in the hospital room with me and was taking care of ds. he fed him his first bottle while we were waiting for my milk to start coming in (i would pump a bit and the nurse would feed him my milk with a syringe then dh would give him a bottle of formula) dh also changed all his diapers at first. the first night we were home ds was crying the whole night and dh was walking him around the house and cuddling with him. he really stepped up from day one and gave me a chance to recover from my c-section until i was able to really do more than nurse him and rest in bed. he allowed me to quit my job to be a stay at home mom after my maternity leave ended. now that our son is almost 3 and our 2nd (another boy) is due in June hes been helping out before and after work and on weekends while i rest and run around to different Dr appointments. he takes ds out for walks and stuff to give me a bit of a break and some time to relax. when we all go out to the mall if i get tired and need to sit down for a bit he will take ds for a walk for 5-10 minutes. if we let ds walk around without holding our hands he stays really close and chases him when ds decides to run ahead. i know hes going to be very involved with our new son when hes born too. dh is going to take parental leave this time to help with the kids while i recover from my planned c-section (getting my tubes tied at the same time)



I think all dads should be involved with their kids and if they aren't then they shouldn't call themselves a dad at all. I realize i am lucky that dh is so involved with our son but if the guy isn't helping with the kids at all or even spending play time with them at a minimum then there is a huge problem that could result in issues when the kids get older and don't really have any kind of relationship with their father.

Janice - posted on 03/21/2012

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My own father was very hands on. Very affectionate and playful. In fact my parent (when they were together) had reversed "traditional" rolls - she was the provider working 2 jobs.



My own husband is very involved. He does avoid poopy diapers, but other than that he plays with both our 2 year old and 3 month old every night. My daughter adores Daddy and I know they will always have a special bond.



As for other dads I know its 50/50, some are involved, some aren't.

So, no I do not think its weird at all. In fact the dads I know who are less involved annoy me.

Aleks - posted on 03/21/2012

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Ummm... without reading other responses I have to say that within my circle of known parents it is in fact an oddity for a father not to be involved with their kids. Some do more than others, of course, but generally most will be involved.



I am yet to know of a dad that is not involved with their kids (like: play with them, change nappies, put them to bed, read stories, take them to or pick them up from school/kinder/daycare, bath them, etc).



So yeah.....

Merry - posted on 03/20/2012

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My own dad was semi involved, he liked us as kids but as we started growing up he distanced himself. He didn't know how to handle young adult girls and so he just stopped.

It was unfortunate and only went downhill from there.

My husband is a good teacher to our kids, he does a lot of the adventurous playing with them, and they rough house and have little games always physically active of course :)

I do the 'upkeep' for the kids usually, diapers, baths, feelings. But as Eric gets older daddy is often the one feeding him, changing his clothes etc.

I am the bed time one because both kids were/are boobie addicts.

So it's good! We share duties and the kids get the nbenefit of both types of parenting. And thankfully we are on the same page almost always

Merry - posted on 03/20/2012

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At our cities library story time there's a few dads who regularly bring their little kids, they seem like amazing dads!

My husband has gotten some comments about how 'rare' it is to see a dad interacting so much with his kids but I feel like the good dads are out there, they just go unnoticed a lot.

I do see dads playing ai their kids at the park way more then I see moms playing. Usually the moms sit and watch and the dads are actually running around with the kids.

So I think it varies.

I know our dr was always like,'is so nice to see a dad come to the prenatal visits! '

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/20/2012

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Ahh, sorry. Misunderstood.. That is very true. ;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/20/2012

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Aww that's too bad Laura. My husband loves it regardless of where we are.



He takes my daughter and all her friends to the swimming hole, ice skating and on big bike rides (I usually go on those). He plays with our boy at the park or anywhere we are. I agree, it needs to be more prevalent for sure. I do see it more and more though... ;)

Isobel - posted on 03/20/2012

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I think it's unusual for them to do it in public, I think more should but meh...my ex and current both are very involved with the kids when they are home but I can't imagine either of them romping with them at a playground or party.

Mommy - posted on 03/20/2012

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My husband paints my daughter's nails and toenails, and its the cutest think I have ever seen. He can't dress her in a matching outfit to save his life, though lol.

[deleted account]

Most of the men aren't just good fathers, but excellent daddies as well. Even my ex is a good daddy when he is w/ the kids. Unfortunately for my kids he moved to where he only sees them 2-3 times/year, so I think he totally sucks. ;)



I know a man who has 2 little girls (9 and 6 or 7) and he has played tea parties and stuff. His best friend has 3 little boys, so 'makes fun of him' (all in good fun) for the girly stuff... but they are BOTH excellent daddies and play what their kids enjoy. ♥

Mommy - posted on 03/20/2012

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My dad took us everywhere, coached all of our teams, and took us out all the time. And often times without our mom. And my husband is always with our daughter, and does all the things I do for her. I wouldn't have married him if he wasn't as involved.

[deleted account]

i don't think people mean anything bad by saying a father playing with his children is new. my hubby gets lots of smiles from little old women who say that, and they always mean it in a good way, that my hubby is doing good to be so involved. if they say it to me about him, i always say that he loves his little girl, and that she's daddy's girl. the only time it'd make me angry would be if they were to say that i'm not doing my job by letting him be with her a lot. they have no right as they don't know how our family works.



but for older people to say that father/child bond is not something you see every day, i certainly wouldn't take it as an insult unless they use a condescending tone.

Johnny - posted on 03/19/2012

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I think it is odd that they would think that it is odd. But even growing up, most of the kids I knew, at least those whose parents were still married, had involved fathers. It is what is normal. Father's who do not involve themselves with their kids at all should be considered anomalous and wrong. I am not speaking of fathers who are away for work, deployed overseas or the like, but those who chose not to have a relationship with their child, whether they are present or not. The form that involvement takes may depend on the individual, but it should at least be observable. I do know a few dads who have no involvement with their kids by choice, and I think it is sub-human.

Ashley - posted on 03/19/2012

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My husband has ALWAYS been 100% involved with our children's lives playing with them and shopping with them and such so I don't think its weird at all .. he has always been a huge part of the parenting

Sylvia - posted on 03/19/2012

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No, it's not odd. My world is full of dads (including some single dads) who are every bit involved in their kids' lives as the kids' moms are. I think what we're seeing in our generation is more dads doing more of the stuff that in our grandparents' and even our parents' generation was considered Mom Territory. (I mean, look at all the flack some moms get for WOH. The battle for equality has not yet been won, alas.) We're still in transition from that paradigm to a new one in which it's fully socially acceptable for parents to work and/or stay home in any gender combination, and as in any transition there will be those who leap in with both feet, cheering, those who follow along because everyone else is doing it, those who are baffled by the whole thing and ask silly questions, and those who dig in their heels and holler about how wrong everyone else is ;)



Now, the lady who said "There's something you don't see every day, a father who loves his daughter"? That kind of remark makes me REALLY MAD. Unfortunately, that woman was not necessarily a complete wack job -- there really are men who feel that way. Exhibit A, my late father, who had three granddaughters by the time I got pregnant with DD and whose first words when I phoned him to tell him the Big News were "Maybe it'll be a boy this time!" O_O

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 03/19/2012

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Thanks Rebecca K and everyone. My husband doesn't understand how you can not be involved in your child's life. Even when DH's parents got divorced his dad was still a big part of his life.

[deleted account]

No, I don't. I think it's uncommon nowadays for dads NOT to be involved. How insulting for your husband.

Becky - posted on 03/19/2012

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I think it's odd when they're not! I would say that around here, at least in the places I tend to frequent and among my friends, involved fathers are the norm. When I go to the zoo or the indoor play place, I wouldn't say I see just as many dads there as moms, but there's not as much disparity as you might expect. In fact, sometimes it surprises me how many couples I see at the coffee and play place with their kids in the middle of the day. (Only because you'd think one of them would be at work!) My husband is quite involved, in fact, moreso when we're out than at home. Not saying he's not involved at home, he does play with the boys, hold the baby so I can eat, do baths, and help with bedtime. But when we're out, he's often the one making sure they get food and are eating, chasing them down, etc. Anyone who saw us out as a family would assume he was a very invovlved father - which, really, he is. I don't think we've ever had any comments about it being unusual. Maybe it's just not unusual here?

I imagine it has to do with the generation too - although my dad was quite involved, I know not all dads from my generation were so much.

[deleted account]

i don't think fathers being involved with their kids is strange at all! my husband is very involved with our daughter. more often than not, I'M the one getting weird looks because he's often the one holding her while i carry our bags and stuff. but in my defense, she is a daddy's girl and prefers him holding her. anyway, we switch back and forth with diapers and holding her and all that good stuff. i get weird looks when my husband takes her to change her diaper when it's his turn.



i guess around here people expect the mothers to not work and to do all the housework and take care of the kids all by themselves. sorry, but in our house we put in equal amounts of work. we both have jobs and we are both parents so of course we're both going to take care of our kids. i wouldn't marry a man who wasn't willing to help take care of the baby he made. i certainly wouldn't make a baby with him, either!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 03/19/2012

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Exactly Heather! Although I love hearing stories of my brother changing diapers since he never did it for my daughters! He now has a son and has been christened a few times thanks to not having any experiance changing diapers. :)



My husband won't sit in the bathtub and bathe our baby, but he will bathe her when it's just her in the tub. He also stays up at night with the baby and changes diapers.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/19/2012

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The dads I know are all very involved. Whenever I hear of dads that don't change diapers or play with the kids my mind is kind of blown. Why have kids then? My husband is very much an equal parent.

Mrs. - posted on 03/19/2012

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Whelp, in my husband's family it is unusual. My husband is a complete oddity in his very large extended family on both sides. His father never once changed a baby's diaper because he claimed it makes him "gag", he has three kids and three grandkids — he has NEVER changed a diaper. I think it is a bit insane, but I realize that in some less forward thinking families it is the norm. However, I think that is changing a lot, even in my husband's backwards ass family. I mean, his father never changed a diaper and my husband has changed my girl's diaper almost as much as I have.



Given all that, what I kind of find annoying is that men are sometimes given so much credit for doing even the minimal in public. That is not to say men don't work hard as fathers to be involved, but the reward in public is so high for just doing daily tasks, such as playing or diapering. A woman is expected to do those things and in fact judged very harshly sometimes about the way she does them, that it rides up my crotch that men are given the equivalent of a participation ribbon just for showing up.



I used to notice this a lot in my old apt. building, which was more like a retirement home than anything else. We were one of the only young families in it and it was filled with old, widowed ladies of varied temperaments. On my husband's day off he would do the laundry with my daughter (she loves to help). All the old women would praise him and shower him with compliments about what a good father he was. He'd come back up to the apt. all full of self esteem about his parenting skills. I gotta tell you, as the main SAHP, it would have been really, really nice to get even a fourth of what my husband would receive on his outings. It would have been a nice leg up on those bad days with PPD in the beginning.

Kimberly - posted on 03/19/2012

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I think its alot more common then it used to be back 30 years ago but I think it is a great thing!!! My husband wasnt too hands on when we first had our daughter because he was a little scared of her( had never held a baby before that!!) but as she got alittle older he was right in there, now she is 28months and you cant get them apart. He works away but then is home for 5 days straight and they have a blast. He has games and things that they play together and also teaches her different things that I dont know. He cant wait til she is big enough to take her fishing and do all the thing his dad did with them. His dad was a hands on dad where mine wasnt he barely knew who I was so I'm very happy that my daughter will have a good male role model in her life. Tell your husband to be proud because his daughters will be greatful for all the effort he's put in when they get older

September - posted on 03/19/2012

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I don't think it's uncommon. Most of the fathers that I know are wonderful fathers that spend a lot of time with their children. I do know of a few that are complete dead beats but you know there's always a few in the bunch. I feel badly for child that don't have great role models in their lives whether that be a Mom and Dad or other great female or male roles models to look up to. I think that's something super important for a child to have. My husband is really involved with our son and I'm so thankful for that. Maybe the group of people you all were around that day haven’t had very much experience or exposure to what a healthy loving family looks like, which is really sad if that's the case.

Amy - posted on 03/19/2012

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My husband is very involved with our kids, he is the primary care giver during the day while I'm at work, he works afternoons. He is the complete opposite of his father who was not involved in the everyday activities it takes to raise children. My father in law never he even held my son when he was a baby although starting at about 6 months held my daughter. My husband plays games with the kids, plays with them outside, helps give baths, changes diapers. For most of my son's life he has been the one to put him to bed at night if he''s home, now my 2 year old wants daddy to put her to bed so I put my son to bed now.



I do think that fathers are less involved in school activities at least from what I can see. I see more moms taking their kids to where they need to be then dads, but at home they could be very involved.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 03/19/2012

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Elfrieda, that's more how my dad was. He liked taking my brother and I down to where he goes hunting, but he didn't really spend a lot of time with us (The father abandoning his child would be my ex and my daughter, not my dad and me) He loves my brother and I, but he wasn't always interested in doing things with us. Although I did learn to read the weather from him and he was always the one buying us sleds and taking a week off from work during February break to take us down to where he hunts so we could sled and hike for a few days while my mom had time to herself.



But now he loves being a grandpa. He always wants to talk to my older daughter when we call or when he and my mom call. This makes some sense too because for the first 6 years of my older daughter's life he and my brother were pretty much her father figures. My husband is from BC and I lived in NY so he couldn't always be around my older daughter. My dad liked to take my daughter down to where he hunts too- he'd do that a lot when I was working weekends so my mom could have time to herself too.



My husband's dad was the one who did the playing with him and his brothers when he was able to. So what he does isn't out of the ordinary in his family.

S. - posted on 03/19/2012

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My husband is very involved in our kids, he plays with them, feed's, cleans and dresses them just like I do, I couldn't imagine him not showing them attention. my oldest daughter Is not my husbands either but you wouldn't tell he treats them all the same. I must say thou sadly a lot of my friends husbands don't bother something that stuck with me was not long ago my friend was talking and she announces that she is worried that if anything happened to her she knows her husband wouldnt know how to take care of her children. On the flip side i also know a good few dad's that are greatly involved with there children (i love to see it)

Chelsey - posted on 03/19/2012

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I don't think it's odd...I actually think it's odd if fathers don't play or interact with their children.

My husband takes our girls (ages 3 and 4) everywhere. He takes them on daddy daughter dates and plays with them all the time. It's not uncommon for him to be wearing a crown or feather boa because he's playing tea party. He's also very involved with our 1 month old son changing diapers and keeping him entertained when I'm busy or just need a break.



In my group of friends with children most of the daddy's are active in their kids lives and most of our friends have girls. I think that maybe in the past it may have been more common for fathers to not spend as much time with their kids but I am of firm belief that I didn't make our children by myself so I'm sure as hell not raising them myself either. If my husband didn't want to help with our kids I'd much rather be a single parent.

Elfrieda - posted on 03/19/2012

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I don't think so. At least, my husband is super-involved (he works in an office in the garage and not too many hours a week) and has our son every Friday when I work and has ever since he was 3 months old. The sheer number of hours he gets to spend with his son is unusual just because we're lucky like that, but most men I know would like to do that, and certainly spend as much time as they can with their kids. Although usually they're keener on the older ones over babies.



I do remember once my brother-in-law came over to where his wife was sitting at a family gathering and held his son out and said, "he has a stinky diaper". He got heckled by everyone. :) As far as I can tell, that's not normal for their relationship, either, he was just feeling like she was sitting and chatting while he was doing all the childcare.



It probably depends on the person whether they find it strange or not. Like you say, maybe the personal experience of the single mom and her sister was that men are not very responsible with kids or that they hate them, so they think that all men are like that. Just like most of my experiences with men have been positive, so I think most men are pretty great. We're all looking at things through our own perspectives.



Edited to add:

I think our fathers' generation had a bit more the expectation that fathers don't play/change diapers, etc. My father was the abnormal one in that generation (lucky for me) but my father-in-law I think was much more "man brings home bacon and then relaxes - don't bother me with the babies". He's really enjoying being a grandpa. This baby-holding business is all new to him, and he's loving it!

Jodi - posted on 03/19/2012

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Well, my father only deigned to speak to me when he had something nasty to say, and play time was just a disguise for punishment of some sort or another. But then again, my BIL is a stay at home dad, my husband plays with his kids all the time, he's the requested bath giver and story book reader at night! The father of my sister's oldest kid is not involved, but the father of her second is very involved.



So, in my experience, it's probably 50/50. But I think the norm should be involved fathers. I think it's great to see a dad playing with his kids, but I also think it's great to see a mom playing with ehr kids too.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/19/2012

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Absolutely not. I believe it is absolutely necessary. My husband had better take a part in playing with his children or there would be some serious problems. They "need" their Dad. It is very important for a daughter and a son to get a father's attention and lots of it.



I didn't have it. I ended up looking for it as a young teen girl. If I had, had a good relationship with a male role model, I would not have needed to find that "acceptance" from males my age.



I think it is vital. It may seem odd to some but to me no, it is perfectly wonderful and required.



Most father's I know take a large role in their child's life. I don't think it is as uncommon as it used to be back in the day... ;)

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