Is dad absent by choice or is he absent without leave, induced by fear?
In today’s society, the moral majority readily embraces the single parent argument as being the main cause for most if not all of society’s problems when it involves members of the male species. Mothers wear this gigantic, invisible bullseye on their tired and broken backs as they live with the burden of being viewed by many as a failure of a parent. Talk show hosts build their careers discussing parenting and parenting issues, and psychiatrist and psychologist enhance their businesses by offering “expert” advice and writing best sellers that “guarantees” effective, proven methods and ideologies. Marketing leads us to believe that if followed, becoming the quintessential parent is inevitable and rearing the model child is a breeze.
With this indiscernible bullseye firmly attached to moms’ person, an overwhelming number of dads reside on the same street as his children and shares the same address. His physical presence within the confines of the home is the perfect camouflage for his absence. Why are dads lurking in the shadows, are they ‘in-house deadbeats’ refusing to accept their full responsibilities as a parent or are they afraid to accept their roles as parenting partner?
We often hear the words “co-parent,” when divorce and separation have reared their ugly heads. However, the significance of this word is explicit in its usage and should be adhered to just as prominently when both parents list the same address as home.
Dads’ responsibilities as related to ‘co-parenting’ has no parameters; dads are just as responsible for rearing the “whole” child as are moms. Hunting, fishing, talking sports, and girls are a meager part of what is needed in rearing a stable, self-confident, child. Research tells us that the academic prowess/level of the mother overwhelmingly shows that their children are better prepared academically and they usually do well in school. What does that say for and about dads? Does this indicate that dads are less interested in being more academically astute, does it suggest that dads are ill-equipped to support their child’s educational needs, does it infer that dads aren’t as smart as moms, after all dads are the dominant sex, right?
Does society give dads a ‘parenting- pass’ because they are the ‘breadwinners,’ the protectors, because they can drink a six pack in a matter of minutes, they can yell and curse the loudest, and have been accepted as the dominant species?
Is the dad’s physical presence in the home the perfect camouflage for his absence?
Myths do not build legends, they only embellish lies.
Melvin “Casey” Lars ©
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