Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Dads are doing better

Opinion: Dads are doing better

The current crop of Dads is doing really well, according to John Cowan, writer and researcher with The Parenting Place. “Men are taking their
role in the family more seriously. ‘WHICH men!?’ you might snort derisively. Okay, my gender has a long way to go – Mums are still shouldering
the lioness’s share of the parenting burden – but I have observed a steady improvement. I cannot cite any research on this but I have had a ringside
seat in observing family life over my eighteen years as a parent educator at The Parenting Place and I am impressed at how men are picking up their game. It’s not hard to find dead-beat dads and examples of appalling parenting but I see an increasing willingness by men to get involved with their children.”

Cowan points to the attendances at the recent Fathers’ Breakfasts in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. “Hundreds of men turn up. They know they are important to their kids and they want to do better. I was also amazed at how many men turned up at a ‘Dads and Babies’ seminar I ran at the Baby Show. So many of these new dads are really informed and confident and quick to show off their prowess at looking after their infant.”

The tide may be changing but Cowan is still concerned that too many men still retreat from their babies. “Many Dads are scared to get involved with their kids. It probably starts early on in our parenting when we think that we aren’t as well equipped as women for handling small children. There’s no pelvic shelf for parking an infant on while you’re walking around. There’s no built in lunch bar. We also lack some of the instinctive parenting skills women seem to naturally know. Men don’t come with the hardware or the software, so we back off and leave child-rearing to the apparent experts, that is, the women. But if we step back when our kids are babies, everyone loses.”

Cowan urges men to get used to holding and hugging their infant. “If you’ve got a baby, learn to handle her. Babies are not as tough as a rugby ball, but not as fragile as a Flake bar. You should never shake a baby or handle them roughly but as long as you support your baby’s head, and don’t drop them you’re probably doing it okay. Handled with care, a baby should last a lifetime!”

“I really like the way modern dads are less shackled by stale masculine stereotypes,” says Cowan. “They’ve grasped the idea that you are no less manly when you get involved with children; in fact it is a very masculine thing. They realise they are not just ‘mums without the bumps’ but are dads, and dads do things a bit differently. For example, one thing the testosterone-laced nature of a man teaches children very naturally is that the best bits of life are out beyond our comfort zone. What is a Dad doing when he is throwing a child in the air and catching him? Well, he’s alarming his mother for a start! But, for the child, it’s fear, followed by reassurance. The edge of terror, and then back again to safety. A Dad will run with the push-chair, heave the swing up to shrieking height and lift a child up just before a wave hits them. All terrifying, but if Dad is holding their hand, it’s safe and it’s fun. Dads teach that the best adventures and life’s greatest treasures are very close to that edge of terror and that courage unlocks life.”


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: The Magic Flute - Magic Moments

Max Rashbrooke: Mozart’s The Magic Flute is an extraordinary tale, blending a story of great solemnity, of elegant music and Masonic virtue overcoming hatred and discord, with elements of extreme silliness and pure fantasy. .. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: ‘Lovely Swans Of Art’

On Cillia McQueen's 'In a Slant Light': Diary-keeping forms the basis of much of this memoir – as with earlier poems – and we are led gracefully through the waves of her life as she sails through both rough and smooth waters. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news