The concept of how to be a good father in contemporary society has changed fundamentally over the past fifty years, as have the growing pressures of being a parent. Modern dads are expected to take a much more involved and active part in parenting children than their predecessors. In previous decades a father s attitude was one of a distant disciplinarian, strength and stoicism were perceived as the most important character traits.
At the imminent birth of a new child, the father would retire to the local pub for the duration of the labour and wait for news from the doctor. These days, Dads are required to be versed in breathing techniques, supporting the mother, video the whole event and even cut the umbilical cord.
New Dads are expected to take part in feeding, dressing and even change nappies, which was totally unheard of in years gone by, where such things were viewed as women s work .
In the middle of the last century a father was expected to enforce household discipline and dole out punishment, sometimes physical and present a solid, respectable image to the children who were expected to stand to attention when he entered the room. Evening meals were expected to be served as he returned from work, family seated around the dinner table, waiting. A happy meal meant father telling funny stories about his day, not a trip to McDonalds for a burger.
If one is to be considered a good father, a far greater commitment of leisure time is required than in days gone by. Weekends spent coaching the kids sports teams, driving them to their extensive social life events, helping with homework and building models for school projects. These are just a few examples of paternal commitments expected in the 21st Century.
The pressures and demands on modern Dads are greater than ever, not only are they expected to be the successful bread winner, providing not just a roof over the head, but all the latest technological gadgets, expensive meals out and exotic holidays. They are also required to spend hours in the gym or other exercising activity to keep the paunch at bay. The media present us with images of men possessing flawless skin, perfectly styled hair, six pack stomachs and an all over year round tans tan, enough to make any man feel somewhat inadequate. The traditional women s need to be body conscious and appearance obsessed is now also shared by men.
The one day of the year dedicated to appreciating the big man in our lives, thanking them for all they have done for us is of course Father s day. It is always celebrated on the third Sunday of June, so the actual date is never fixed. People celebrate the by honoring their father and expressing affection for them by giving gifts, cards, flowers and neckties.
Another new way of celebrating your dad is to send him an animated Father s Day Ecard. Not only will you be sending him a message of love and affection, but also helping to limit you carbon footprint as e cards are an extremely environmentally friendly way of communicating with loved ones and friends.