The Best Teammate: Honestly, Every Father Wants to Be A Super Dad
In recent years, more and more social media celebrities have been sharing their parenting lives as dads on social media platforms. Their parenting style and the interaction with their family has attracted many followers online.
As time changes, modern lifestyles and family structure has changed, too. The awareness of gender equality has increased, and it is the consensus of more and more new parents to share childcare and household chores equally in a dual-income family.
According to the Gender Map of 2022 published by the Gender Equality Council of ROC's Executive Yuan, the percentage of male applicants for the parental leave allowance has increased, from 15.7% to 18.6% over a five-year period. Although the majority of applicants are still women, the growing trend of dads to take a more active parenting role is evident.
From the time the pregnancy is confirmed, couples become parents, sharing a parental partnership. This is "co-parenting", where the couple supports and communicates with each other in parenting and puts the best interests of the child first. Due to various factors however, such as societal norms and workplace culture, after the birth of a child in most Taiwanese families, the mother is the primary caregiver while the father continues to work. Thus, the common belief that children prefer their mothers appeared. The stereotype is widely held that fathers lack the ability to take care of children.
Are fathers really born less able at taking care of children? An American sociologist shared; most fathers are willing to take care of their children. However, they are under pressure from increased expenses and heavy workloads on the one hand, and feel a lack of confidence as they worry that their care will not match their children's needs.
Sometimes, dad's poor performance in parenting is a way of passive resistance. If a father faced with various frustrations chooses to be alone and anxious, he inadvertently begins to escape by pretending a lack of ability. Quite some mothers tend to accept the stereotype that men are not good at parenting and housework, convince themselves that it would be faster and better to do the childcare and dinner herself.
In fact, many surveys in Taiwan have shown that most of the fathers of this new generation highly anticipate being involved in parenting. The more satisfied fathers are with their parenting involvement, the more satisfied they are with their life and work situation in general. The happiness and sense of accomplishment that comes from spending time with children promotes the father's personal fulfilment. Moreover, the father's active participation is also beneficial to the mother's mental health, which in turn stabilizes their family.
Dad’s involvement is the first step to realize co-parenting in modern Taiwanese families. However, in practice, more support is needed, such as encouragement from spouse and family members, recognition from friends and relatives, a parenting-friendly workplace culture, and more flexible high-quality childcare services.
The Christian Salvation Service also places great emphasis on the role of father in the family. We promote co-parenting through our services. We aim for every parent to be a supportive teammate for each other while raising their children.
Everyone learns to be a parent on the job when the newborn comes home. On this day of August 8, Father's Day in Taiwan, we want to acknowledge all fathers. Keep up the good work! Don't forget you are the irreplaceable superhero in your child's heart!