I recently saw this article via Facebook, “What This Dad Did On His Daughter’s Last Day Of School Defines Good Parenting“. It highlights a father who walked his daughter to school on her first day in kindergarten and her last day as a graduating senior in high school. The article talks about how important it is for fathers to “be there” for their kids and how this father is the definition of good parenting.
Since becoming a father I received numerous incidences of praise from strangers, friends and family members about how happy they are to see me with my kids. I’ve always politely thanked them but silently wondered: OF COURSE I’m with my kids! What they are comparing me to? A deadbeat dad?
It’s been clear to me that fathers are not held to a very high standard in our society. According to the article above, just “being there” apparently is good enough to be considered a good parent. Compliments about my fatherhood are far too easy to come by.
It’s unfortunate because I know several fathers who do “just enough” to be around for their kids but don’t seem very committed to their roles. With such low expectations in our society, they will likely continue to get away with “just enough” for their kids.