Dads. I remember in grad school, one of my Marriage and Family Therapy professors saying, “there’s so much research and so many resources poured into the mother-child relationship. What about the dads? Where’s the research about the fathers?” It’s true. It’s half the equation and yet, in comparison, there is little mention about the impact of the father.
When we do hear about the dad factor, either anecdotally or as reported in research findings, the focus is so often on how complicated, strained, or non-existent the father-child relationship is due to the “triple A’s” of psychological woundedness: Abuse, Alcoholism, or Abandonment.
Up until within the last few generations of humans, it was the cultural expectation that the role of the father was largely one of absence within the home/emotional/bonding arena. But in today’s ever-changing culturescape of gender roles, where expectations are shifting at warp speed, a healthy masculine presence is paramount to the development of balanced, self-assured humans.
So how DO we begin to shape a new “dad” narrative? And where do dads and couples go to talk to other moms and dads about the new, yet undefined narratives that we all find ourselves living? Because one thing is for sure….as we are experiencing a groundswell of smart, capable women and girls who are finding their voice and claiming their power in the workforce, the emotionally connected dad is going to be more important than ever.