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How fatherhood has evolved and what it means to be a dad in 2023

Indifferent. Working. Absent. Stereotypes of fathers as disengaged and unloving are common, and generally underscored with longstanding cultural images of dads as incompetent in the role as parent.
Father throwing football to his son.

(Jayceon Cirino-White, 7, plays catch with his father Edward White Jr. at Roosevelt Park in Malden, Mass. on May 5, 2022.)

Meredith Nierman By Jesse Steinmetz, June 16, 2023

 

Indifferent. Working. Absent. Stereotypes of fathers as disengaged and unloving are common, and generally underscored with longstanding cultural images of dads as incompetent in the role as parent.

But a cultural shift in how modern-day fathers interact with their kids is changing the image and role of fatherhood.

“What we’re seeing today is that these dads are saying, ‘You know, I’m not perfect, but I’m giving myself another shot to be great and I’m going to continue do my job as a father,'” Dr. Charles Daniels Jr. told Under the Radar. “Grace, I would say, is what’s required for fathers to be great parents.”

“Women still, of course, carry the brunt of the time for childcare and home chores,” says Dr. Harvey Karp, CEO of Happiest Baby. Still, he says modern day fatherhood means “more and more we’re seeing fathers wanting to be engaged, having the empathic capabilities of being engaged, and we see them increasing, really over the last 50 years, doubling or tripling the amount of time they spend in childcare and in household chores.”

Alberto Malacarne is the father of a 2-year-old and is expecting a second child in August. He told Under the Radar responsibilities are shared in his family’s household: “I think me and my wife would be really 50/50 in everything, you know, 50/50 in providing both financially in the sense that, you know, we both have a good and stable job and both 50/50 providing care for our child.”

Research shows younger dads are more involved in their children’s lives than ever before. Dr. Raymond Levy, director of The Fatherhood Project, believes this a trend that will only continue to grow.

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