What do you think of the image of fatherhood portrayed in the media versus the reality you have experienced or witnessed? Is it about time we redefine fatherhood? Hogan Hilling, our next Power Up Living show guest, believes so. Enjoy this post from Hogan and stories of Dadly fatherhood pioneers. Check out more of what Hogan discovered on our next episode of the Power Up Living show. Tune in live – get the details here. ~K.G.
By Hogan Hilling
For the past twenty-six years the image of fatherhood I observed in my community and social dad network is far different than the media and Hollywood continue to portray in newspapers, magazines, television and movies. The breed of Dadly dads I have met are caring, nurturing, sensitive, compassionate men who chose to embrace a different approach to parenting then their dads, while still keeping their masculinity in tact. I don’t mean any disrespect to the past generation of dads but today’s Dadly dads have shown a tremendous amount of courage in redefining the image of fatherhood in a positive way.
Today’s Dadly dad is not only a different breed of man but he also lives in a different parenting climate, one in which dads are more involved at home and also pro-active in their community. One of the most significant positive changes today’s Dadly dad has made is the choice to be the primary caregiver of the family. Stay-at-home dads have proven a man is just as capable as a woman to nurture and care for children; and also manage a household. The role reversal has proved to be a valuable asset for many women by having fewer distractions at home affording them more opportunities to advance their careers and still be a mom.
As the population of stay-at-home dads and their comfort level to embrace the primary caregiver role increased, so did the interest of working dads to change their attitude about their role as involved parents. In so doing, these Dadly fatherhood pioneers set a higher standard of involvement for other dads to follow.
One example comes from Jim DiCenzo, who I met in 1995. During a fatherhood workshop, one of the dads in attendance expressed his frustration about how unfriendly medical professionals and educators were to fathers. Jim replied, “If you would like a father-friendly environment, you need to act like a friendly father.”
Jim’s comment was a wake-up call millions of dads have embraced and acted on throughout the USA with great success. Some examples include the following accomplishments:
- Boot Camp for New Dads an expectant dads class, which debuted in 1991, is now offered in 45 states.
- Dad Clubs. One of the first debuted at an Irvine, California elementary school in 1994. Today, the Watch D.O.G.S Dads Club program is in 3,793 schools in 46 states; Al Pro Dad 1,164 Chapters in 45 States. Many other Dads Clubs operate independently under the PTA and PTO umbrellas.
- National At-Home Dad Network debuted in 1996. Today the national organization has 3,200 members and 52 dad playgroups.
Today’s Dadly dads have built an incredible support and network system for fathers. In so doing these dads inspired Al and I to write a book titled “Dads Behaving Dadly: 67 Truths, Tears and Triumphs of Modern Fatherhood.”
Dads Behaving Dadly is a collection of stories from ALL types of dads in the USA, Canada and Australia. The book includes stories from working, at-home, divorced, single, step dads and dads of children with special needs.
While collecting stories from active, involved fathers for “Dads Behaving Dadly” my co-author, Al Watts, and I also discovered the claim made by the National Fatherhood Initiative and others that “Fatherhood is in Crisis in America” is disingenuous. While it is true there are absent and irresponsible dads in America which causes many difficulties for their children, the greater truth Watts and I discovered, is that most fathers are present, responsible and very involved parents. Today’s responsible modern dads far outnumber the dads who are not involved in their child’s life.
The truths, tears and triumphs dads revealed in Dads Behaving DADLY prove that, “Fatherhood is Alive and Well!” The successful debut of the book has also inspired Motivational Press to publish a “USA Dads Behving Dadly II,” “Aussie Dads Behaving Dadly,” and “Canadian Dads Behaving Dadly” books.
Al and I invite ALL dads to submit a story for the USA Dadly II. For more information about guidelines and instructions on how to submit a story visit the Submit page of the Dadly website at www.dadsbehavingdadly.com. For more information about the “Aussie Dads Behaving Dadly” book visit http://dadsbehavingdadly.com/blog/.
Al and I also invite you to join the “Fatherhood Is Alive and Well” campaign by purchasing the Dads Behaving Dadly book and/ or submitting a story to Dads Behaving Dadly II and LIKING the Dadly Facebook page.
About the Author
Hogan Hilling is the author of six self-help parenting books. He has also appeared on Oprah. To learn more about the Dads Behaving Dadly book and co-authors Hogan Hilling and Al Watts visit www.dadsbehavingdadly.com