From your childhood on, to the present day, the role of fathers has become increasingly important to all of us.
Whether we’re dads in our own lives or dads in the workplace, we’re constantly asked to help shape our children’s lives.
In fact, one in three adults is either a parent or a spouse of a child, and that figure is growing.
But while there’s an overwhelming amount of data about fathers in the U.S. today, there are also a number of myths and misconceptions about dads, many of which can be easily disproved with a little research.
We talked with several fathers about what it’s like to be a dad, how they navigate the pressures of the modern world, and how to celebrate dadhood with your kids.
* * * If you’ve got a baby or toddler, there’s no reason to wait until they’re a year old to start celebrating dads in your life.
This is especially true for kids.
As they age, kids need to be able to connect with their dads and get a better understanding of them.
“A lot of dads are in a very vulnerable position, and a lot of them have to deal with all of these other things that are really difficult to talk about with kids,” says James, a 33-year-old father of four from Colorado.
“They have to figure out how to interact with them and communicate with them.
They have to learn how to relate to their kids.
So for a lot guys, it’s a lot harder.”
James, who has a daughter named Tiana, is not only the sole breadwinner in his family, but also has to deal not only with a lot in his personal life, but with a wide range of responsibilities as a dad to his two daughters.
“It’s hard when you’re not in the house.
It’s hard for the kids to have their own space,” he says.
“We get all the stuff that comes with a baby in their house, but it’s really hard when they’re not there.
So it’s pretty tough.”
James was raised in a conservative household and has always been very protective of his kids.
“I’m just not the type of dad that would say, ‘Well, let’s not be a bad father.
We’re not going to be that kind of dad,'” he says of his own upbringing.
“When they’re older, you’re going to see some changes, but they’ll always be my kids.
They’ll always want to do what I do.”
“The thing that’s really frustrating is that a lot people assume that I’m just going to put on a dress and put on this sweater and go out and spend time with them.”
James says that while it’s possible to get the most out of your kids in this way, it can be a lot more complicated than it sounds.
“The fact of the matter is, you can’t just have a casual day at the park, or whatever it is you want to be doing,” he explains.
“You’re always going to have to talk to them.
“I think a lot parents are trying to figure it out,” he adds. “
Even when you can talk to your kids about things, you still have to be really clear with them that you don’t want to go out there, that you want your time to be limited, that your schedule has to be set and that there’s going to only be one activity a day.”
“I think a lot parents are trying to figure it out,” he adds.
But it’s going be something you can try to get over with.” “
So it’s not always a quick fix.
But it’s going be something you can try to get over with.”
James’ experience is common among other dads who are working through some of the same issues.
“My wife and I have a baby, so I’m in the middle of having to deal directly with all the issues that come with raising a child,” he acknowledges.
“But I think there’s a tendency to just get the kids out of the house and do everything else.
What do I really want my dad to do?'” “
For a lot kids, it feels like they’re in a constant state of ‘What do I want my mommy to do?
What do I really want my dad to do?'”
James says he tries to take time to think about what he wants his daughter to be like, and then work to do that.
“If I have my own kids, I’m more interested in my daughter’s experiences,” he admits.
“She’s not going out there to play with people, and I’m not going on vacation.
I’m still spending time with my wife.
But she’s doing something else, and it’s just a lot easier for me to be