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What Do You Want in a Dad?
What kind of a dad to you want for your kids?

I've been thinking about that lately because I have a column due today for the Canadian Promise Keepers magazine on just that subject.

I asked a ton of women that question, and they all gave answers you would expect: he should put in the time; he should do the work of parenting; he should be a spiritual leader; he should be tender.

But after talking about it more, we all came back to this point: he shouldn't leave the parenting to me.

The women I talked to said that men often came in two extremes: the authoritarian dad who stormed in and left little children in their wake, or the passive dad who just wasn't that involved. And when women have a husband who isn't that involved, women overcompensate. We take over more and more of the parenting responsibilities and decision-making, until we're doing the whole thing. And then it's even harder for them to get involved, because we're already doing everything and crowding them out.

What we want is a man who won't accept that. Who will fight to be involved with the kids, and who will challenge us if we're wrong. We want a man who isn't afraid to stand up to us and stand up for the kids. Who has an opinion on the kids because he thinks about it and cares about it. We don't actually want all the responsibility.

Raising kids is really hard. There's a lot of guilt that goes into it for a woman. And if we have all the parenting placed on us, that guilt is compounded, plus we feel like our husbands don't understand.

So we don't just want a man who will occasionally read to the kids or play catch with them. We want a man who really will share the decision-making and parenting so we're not left holding the ball. We'll take the ball if it's thrown at us, but we don't really want it.

What do you think?

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4 Comments:

At 7:45 AM , Blogger Terry said…

I think you've expressed this very well and there's not a lot I can add. But as the mom of four girls, I think it's important for a dad to model chivalry for his sons and also for his daughters. After all, our marraige relationships will largely affect the mates they choose and the marraiges they have when they become adults.

 

At 10:13 AM , Blogger We are THAT Family said…

I actually considered this greatly before I even married. It's one of the main reasons I fell in love with my husband. I could see him as a great father. And you know what? I was right.

 

At 10:19 AM , Blogger Mrs. Annie said…

I couldn't agree more with both your blog and the comments already posted. In a world of MIA dad's it's important and wonderful to find those gold ones!

I tripped across the title of you blog on another blog and couldn't help but come over for a visit!

 

At 2:57 PM , Blogger Crystal said…

I agree with your thoughts and your comments posted. I love the Dad my husband is to my kids. I love that he gets on the floor and plays with them and sings them silly songs. I love watching them interact. From the moment my first child was born, I fell in love with my husband all over again and do every day since as I watch him be an excellent father to my kids. To answer "what do you want in a dad?" I would say, I've got all I ever wanted and prayed for in my husband.

 
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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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