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Happy (engaged) Father’s Day
More choices for how to father than ever
Veronica Coons editorial April 2020
Veronica Coons

Today is Father’s Day, so we wish a happy one to our readers who are dads.  Fathers leave one of the most important marks on our lives, and often we don’t realize this until they are gone.  In general, fathers help young children to feel safe, and this allows them to feel confident exploring their world.  And often it’s dad leading the charge to new adventures and experiences outside the everyday realm of home, school, etc. 

Engaged fathers help us to stay in school and stay out of jail.  While they may encourage us to jump from higher heights, to swim further or to throw harder, they also somehow convey the importance of not taking needless risks that could alter our futures in unenviable ways.

Today, fathers have the chance to be a bigger part of their children’s lives than ever before, and that is in part because mothers have been encouraged to reach for higher heights in their careers and personal lives.  While it may at times seem things haven’t changed very much in the past century, this is one area where they truly have. 

Increasingly, men of today identify less and less with the father stereotypes of the early days of television.  Those dads were the breadwinners of the family, and their involvement consisted of a kiss on the cheek at bedtime, a few hours spent tossing a ball or fishing on the weekend, and the occasional summons to punish the errant.  

Then, women began to demand more.  More opportunities, more pay, and more help.  It hasn’t been an easy trail to blaze, but the results include, as couples contemplate starting a family, widely available opportunities for shared parenting. It is no longer a choice only for mothers whether or not they will take time away from their careers to care for a newborn.  More and more fathers are getting involved with early childcare, and kids are benefitting.  And, there are a lot of proud papas out there, finding they too have their own style of nurturing that works for their kids.  

Yes, finally, for men who feel they can offer more to their family at home than on the job, they can confidently do so.  Now, more women than ever before have earned degrees and command higher salaries, and roles that were traditionally filled by men only are now increasingly open to women.  

It turns out, while women were fighting for their rights, in the end it benefitted men just as much. 

So today, whether your role as father is progressive, traditional, or like most, somewhere in between, we honor you.  Not only is the world truly aware of your importance in your children’s lives, you too now have the chance to be whatever kind of father you want to be.