Dads Don’t Need Extra Praise, a Simple Smile Will Do the Trick
Once, while grocery shopping with our four young children, I crossed paths with a mom acquaintance. And the encounter was anything but ordinary. The mom stopped immediately to praise me. She put her hands on her hips and nodded with wide-ranging approval as she exclaimed, “I’m impressed!”
Unfortunately, this sort of encounter was nothing new to me. Just by way of being a father, I’ve been typecast before – like so many other dads – as being out of my element in the grocery store, with kids in tow, and (gasp) all alone!
I know what she was thinking. What kind of dad would brave this ordeal and actually enjoy it?
Actually, I do. And so do plenty of other dads. The funny thing is, we’re actually doing what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re being parents.
Dads and moms parent differently, but that doesn’t make one better than the other. Just different. That’s a good thing.
Despite these differences, all dads have one thing in common: They see parenting as central to their identity and want to be treated the same as everyone else. None of them want to be considered a hero for serving as a breadwinner and still maintaining an engaged fatherly role. They don’t want praise for braving the so-called tempest of taking kids shopping. You don’t need to praise them when they change a diaper, clean a room, fold the laundry, or cook a meal. And they certainly don’t want to be coddled or checked upon when they’re left alone with the baby.
All of this comes naturally to them. There should be no questioning their might as a caring or fully competent parent. Simply put, dads want to be held in the same regard as anyone else.
Think about it. Women are no more instinctually capable of caring for children, but it’s the media who would never let us think otherwise. Dads are equal parents in every way, shape, and form.
So if you happen to see a dad in the grocery store with kids, you don't need to give him any praise. The best thing you can do is smile. There’s nothing more refreshing than knowing – as parents – that we’re all on the same team.
Would the dads in your life agree?