Monday, June 2, 2014

In Defense of Daddies

I'm a feminist, but that doesn't mean that I hate men, by any means. I believe men and women are equal, in divine origin, in dignity, and in human ability and potential. And this is part of the feminist source that this post flows from.
Just a little while ago, I left my hysterical daughter in her room with her father. She screamed and wailed, all because it was time for singing and she wanted to read one more book. We don't have a lot of rules in our house, but the bedtime ritual is one of them. When it is time to sing, there is no negotiation. And so I left the room while my husband struggled with our daughter as she physically thrashed and hollered her disappointment. I knew that her daddy would be able to calm her down. Could he do it as fast as me? Maybe, maybe not. But it is important that he be an equal parent to her. He has his own ways with her, his own rituals. He has his own techniques.
I see so many moms treat fathers like incompetent babysitters, and that is certainly what our culture and our media wants us to believe. But that is incredibly dangerous. Her daddy disciplines her as much as I do. Her daddy plays with her one on one as much as his schedule allows. He is an equal in our marriage and in our parenting.
Now, there is an obvious caveat here: moms and dads must be in agreement on discipline and rules. If I believed in time outs and he believed in spanking, we would need to come to agreement before we trusted each other to parent. But once that agreement is in place, then moms, empower your husbands to parent! It's a relief for you. Plus, by treating him as an adult, he'll know you respect him. And whether you're a complementarian or an egalitarian, you know everyone enjoys respect!

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