The role of a father has changed over the last 50 years. These days, mothers are the primary or sole earners for 40 percent of households with children under 18, compared with 11 percent in 1960. More and more dads are stepping it up at home when it comes to parenting, and they’re doing it with a refreshing sense of humor.
Modern dads seem to be more involved than ever before. Long gone are the previous stereotypes of fathers working long hours, coming home after dinner, and patting their kids on the head as their mother starts the bedtime routine alone. Now, dads are establishing a work/family life balance, or becoming full-time lead parents.
Research across families from all ethnic backgrounds suggests dads who are actively engaged with their families help to promote their children’s social and emotional development. So this trend toward more involved, caring dads is certainly a positive one.
The Fatherhood Project, a non-profit fatherhood program in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, spotlights some of the research findings of beneficial outcomes for children with engaged fathers, including:
- Positive health outcomes in infants
- Better emotional, academic, social, and behavioral outcomes
- Children who feel a closeness to their father are: twice as likely as those who do not to enter college or find stable employment after high school, 75% less likely to have a teen birth, 80% less likely to spend time in jail, and half as likely to experience multiple depression symptoms.
- High levels of father involvement are correlated with higher levels of sociability, confidence, and self-control in children. Children with involved fathers are less likely to act out in school or engage in risky behaviors in adolescence.
- Children with actively involved fathers are: 43% more likely to earn A’s in school and 33% less likely to repeat a grade than those without engaged dads.
Apart from the many positive benefits that come from involved fathers, one of the best characteristics that these modern dads are exhibiting is humor. Fathers these days are not taking themselves too seriously, and are often taking to social media with the hashtag “dadlife” to document their triumphs and fails.
This sense of humor is not only beneficial to children, but also to moms, and dads themselves as it can lighten up the whole mood of the household.
We’ve put together some of our favorite #DadLife tweets to illustrate this refreshing take on fatherhood, because, let’s face it, being a parent is hard. Not everyone has the privilege of being raised by two parents. We could all use some laughter in our lives, and these dads make the long days of parenting comical and relatable.
This Father’s Day, let’s take some time out to celebrate how far dads have come in the last several decades. Thanks, Dad!