Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Dear Mr. Morton- We have two preschoolers. My wife began working full-time, out of necessity, and I share parenting chores and enjoy the involvement in my children’s lives much more than before. I want to become more effective in this new parenting role, but I’ve grown up learning fathers are to be major bread winners and minor nurturers of children. How can I handle this conflict?- Name Withheld.

Dear Name Withheld- Begin by realizing you’re not alone with these mixed feelings. Over 70 percent of moms with a child over age 1 work and the number of fathers striving to help their working wives more on the home front is swelling. Powerful dads, like yourself, are not satisfied in playing minor roles in child rearing; they find themselves staying in, not retreating from, the nursery and playrooms.

Powerful dads discover that being in the delivery room, changing diapers, attending parenting classes, reading bedtime stories, bathing cuddling, feeding and burping their babes, and even kissing “ouchies” deepens the relationship…without minimizing their macho.

You seem to feel isolated in this conflict, so seek out other powerful dads; you may learn much from these potential confidants. Join a parenting group which has other fathers attending (Hint: beforehand, ask the group facilitator how many dads have signed up).

Further sharpen and gain confidence in your inherent fathering skills like you would your golf swing by reading magazines and books about fathering. Here’s three excellent books written by fathers like you: “She Calls Me Daddy” by Robert D. Wolgemuth, “Daddy’s Home!” by Stephen Schnur and “The Five Key Habits of Smart Dads” by Paul Lewis. Another great resource is “The Complete Smart Dad’s Tool Kit”, which offers audio cassettes and games for dads and kids to play, pocket guides for dads to teach kids values and morals, etc. Call 1-800-ALL-DADS.

Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S., has retired from his positions as school psychologist and adjunct professor in the School of Leadership and Policy Studies at Bowling Green State University. Questions or comments about family, parenting, educational or personal concerns? Have photos or personal stories you'd like to share? Contact us on our secure Bpath Mail Form.