Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Modern Dad's Father's Day: Stereotypes v. Realities

modern father's day means playing with the kids, not playing golf

Another Father’s Day comes this way along with another round of the usual jokes about grilling, golfing and neckties. Not in these parts, though.

It’s the 21st century, people. Let’s stop with the mid-20th century stereotypes and find some fun in today’s modern dad – a guy who knows his role in parenting today is far greater than bringing home a paycheck then settling into an easy chair for a pipe, the evening news and a dry martini.

Let's review the stereotypes about dads and the modern-day realities:

Grooming – personal
  • Stereotype: Dads can always use another necktie.
  • Reality: A modern dad can always use another pair of cargo shorts because his children or spouse/partner are always wanting him to hold something for them.

Grooming – others
  • Stereotype: Dads are incapable of helping their daughters with “girlie” things like braiding hair and makeup.
  • Reality: A modern dad teaches his daughter how to do her fingernails just right so she can throw the perfect knuckleball.

Fatherly advice, Part I
  • Stereotype: “Well, if your mother said it’s OK with her, then it’s OK with me.”
  • Reality: “Don’t even try that old ruse with me, dude. Mom already texted me. And you’re grounded.”

  • Stereotype: Dads are career-driven breadwinners who spend most of their time grinding away in an office to make ends meet.
  • Reality: A modern dad takes his kids to the playground where he has a regular side hustle selling diapers, baby wipes and snacks to less-prepared parents.

  • Stereotype: Dads drive sedans but long for sports cars.
  • Reality: A modern dad buys a minivan with luxurious seating, a state-of-the-art entertainment and WiFi system, and roughly the cargo capacity of a trans-Atlantic shipping container for schlepping all his family’s stuff around on weekends.

  • Stereotype: Dads spend their weekends golfing.
  • Reality: A modern dad spends his weekends driving to and then attending his children’s various sporting events, music/dance lessons and play dates when he’s not looking for a misplaced cleat or hairband under the piles of stuff thrown in the back of his minivan.

Fatherly advice, Part II
  • Stereotype: “Don’t tell your mother.”
  • Reality: “Don’t post this on Snapchat.”

  • Stereotype: Dads don’t clean. That’s women’s work.
  • Reality: A modern dad handles a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and an economy sized tub of OxiClean with ease.

  • Stereotype: Dads only like to roughhouse with their children.
  • Reality: A modern dad rocks Minecraft construction on the Xbox with one child and a tiara at a tea party with the other.

  • Stereotype: Dads only cook when it’s time to fire meat on the grill.
  • Reality: A modern dad whips up vegan and gluten-free meals to satisfy his children’s dietary preferences and restrictions.

  • Stereotype: Dads will only watch action movies with lots of gunfire and explosions.
  • Reality: A modern dad knows the release date of the next Pixar animated film and the identity of Disney’s next princess.

Fatherly advice, Part III
  • Stereotype: “Go ask your mother.”
  • Reality: “Go ask Alexa.”

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