The era of “absent fathers” is over! That’s the gist of several new studies we’ve read about. They show that while men may be losing ground as husbands and breadwinners, they’re actually gaining ground as “rock-solid fathers.”
For example: Until recently, it was common to find Moms doing most of the work raising children. But today, experts say “co-parenting” is the norm. In fact, the latest Census data shows that a-third of fathers with working wives handle most of the care for children under age 15.
And many surveys back this up. People say it’s becoming more common to see Dads driving their kids to school, to doctor’s appointments, or chaperoning their kids on play dates. Dads are also more likely to help their kids with homework assignments.
So, why are today’s fathers getting more involved in their kids’ lives? Some experts say it’s an upshot of the bad economy, because during the recession, men were more likely than women to lose their job. So, now they have more time to spend with their kids.
Also, sociologist Lauren McClain says this trend may be a reaction to a generation of men growing up with “absent fathers.” The thinking is that after years of seeing their single Moms struggle, today’s men want to be more than just “occasional babysitters” for their children, instead, they want to be full partners in parenting.
What makes that even more remarkable is that marriage rates are at historic lows today, and nearly half of all kids are born to unmarried parents! Some experts say that’s a sign that couples are prioritizing parenting over marriage.