Aside from banana bread, baked sushi trays and anger at our government’s lacking pandemic response, wholesome dad content is bringing everyone together this quarantine. Who could forget that dad who got his own dose of dad jokes or the dad that took on bartender duties when his daughter turned 21 or the guy who launched the YouTube channel “Dad, how do I?” that taught us not just how to put up shelves but also how much we needed someone to explain tools to us (or is that just me…)?
Wholesome dads aren’t just a social media trend. Out in the real world, dads are changing and evolving with the times. What started out as a breadwinning role is now a position of responsibility, warmth and love.
The American Psychological Association pins industrialization and the employment opportunities that came along with it as the factor that lead to fathers becoming more distanced from their children and families. When women started working, dependence on the father also relaxed. Today, fathers are definitely lightyears ahead of the cold, emotionally distant provider of years ago.
I’d like to think that this generation will be really good parents because we’re always educating ourselves about the ways of the world and how we can improve on it. Modern fatherhood is constantly evolving, but these are just some of the traits that define it for this generation’s fathers and for us who might become parents one day.
A friend you can be yourself with
Traditional fatherhood was largely about having command over your family, which meant that fathers were more like leaders. But the modern father figure is your friend, someone you can trust and will accept you for who you are, instead of someone who imposes what they think you should be. LGBTQ+ kids are becoming more comfortable coming out because parents have created a truly safe space where they won’t fear being judged. Fathers also want to engage more with their children, they play games together and can even join in on the “youngins” trends like TikTok or memes. They know how to have fun and to let you in on the fun too.
A down-to-earth mentor
Fathers are supportive and encouraging, making sure to explore their children’s interests and help them grow into it, instead of forcing them down a path that the children will later on regret. They will go to your volleyball games, watch your recitals and even appear in your vlogs. All they really want is for their children to succeed at what they’re happy doing.
A caring elder
Dads used to be emotionless heads of families. They were formal and curt, to the point of never showing love for their children. These days, especially because toxic masculinity is something that everyone is trying to unlearn, father figures can be as warm, inviting and open as their forefathers never were. Fathers are now comfortable with showing emotion and helping their kids process these emotions as well.
A person who genuinely loves you
Now that gender roles are slowly fading and families are adapting to new structures, anyone can be a father. You don’t have to be a man to be one, you don’t have to be married to be one, you don’t have to be straight to be one, you don’t have to be a cis man to be one. Father figures are who you make them out to be. As long as someone is genuine with the love and care they give you, and if they’re responsible for providing the kinds of support that you need throughout your life, they can be a father figure.
The thing that ties good parents together, whether from this generation or the past, is their unconditional love for their children. At the end of the day, good parents just want their children to be the best versions of themselves so they can go out and live a good and happy life.