Gender roles for fathers as caretakers more accepted on Father’s Day 2013

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U.S. father and child
A father inside the U.S. plays lovingly and laughs with his young child. Image: Farm5

(WNN) Denver, Colorado, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: When U.S. President Calvin Coolidge urged all State regions to recognize Father’s Day in 1924, many men at the beginning viewed the day with disdain. It wasn’t until 1972, under U.S. President Richard Nixon, that Father’s Day ‘officially’ and finally was recognized as a federal holiday. Today the holiday means money for retailers. According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. Americans are expected to buy up to $13.3 billion in gifts for their fathers.

But the day isn’t all about materialism, says U.S. President Barack Obama in his weekly address from the White House last Saturday.

“I wanted to take a moment to talk about the most important job many of us will ever have. And that’s being a dad,” said the U.S. President. “I never really knew my own father. I was raised by a single mom and two wonderful grandparents who made incredible sacrifices for me, ” President Obama continued.

“And there are single parents, like my mom all across the country, who do a heroic  job raising terrific kids. But I still wish I had a dad who was not only around, but involved…that’s why I try to be for [U.S. First Lady] Michelle and my girls what my father was not for my mother and me,” added Obama.

Responsibility for fathers in the family has been shifting over the past decades as women take up much of the slack. According to the Pew Research Center U.S. fathers of today are not the predominate breadwinners in the family like they were in the 1950s – 1990s. Women who have children, both married and single, are now becoming the major source of family revenue.

Women are also out-pacing their husbands in education says some of the most recent studies conducted by the Pew Center as the wave for women to work has increased and the move for men to be ‘stay-at-home’ dads is also on the rise. The most recent U.S. Census count for dads who have admitted that they are ‘proxy-moms’ is 189,000.

With the rise in ‘stay-at-home’ dads, the public support for fathers to become special emotional supports for their children is also on the rise.

“Being a good parent, whether you’re gay or straight, a foster parent or a grandparent, isn’t easy. It demands your constant attention, frequent sacrifice and of course a health dose of patience, an nobody’s perfect. To this day I’m still trying to figure out how to be a better husband to my wife and a better father to my kids. . . If there’s one thing I’ve learned along the way, is that our personal successes shine a little less brightly if we fail at family. That’s what matters most,” outlined the U.S. President.


Chronicling and celebrating the memory of their own fathers on Father’s Day 2013, 8 U.S. based children book authors share their special memories of their “Dads.” “What I learned from my father is the discipline of writing—he was quite a prolific writer—and also just a dedication to one’s work,” says children’s book artist and illustrator Chris Raschka. In addition to Raschka, this video produced by Open Road Integrated Media highlights children’s and young adult authors Janet Taylor Lisle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Hilma Wolitzer, Patricia Reilly Giff, Dori Hillestad Butler, Patricia MacLachlan, and Peter Lerangis as they reflect on the impact their fathers had on their childhood, life, and career as writers. 


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