Dads: It’s Called Parenting

As a dad I’m not a babysitter. I’m a parent.

Too often many dads today say something similar to this when mom is away, “My wife is gone and I’m watching the kids.” I have a problem with this. As a dad I’m not a babysitter. I’m a parent. Just like my wife. When Sarah is gone I’m not at home watching my son. I’m at home doing something called parenting.

I love watching TV. For the longest time all Sarah and I had was Netflix. We recently signed back up for TV and I’m pretty excited about it! I’m a huge fan of channels like the History Channel and Disney. As much as I love TV I also hate it. I know, why would I sign up for something I hate? To be honest, it helped out our cell phone bill and we got some channels that my son will love. So we signed up.

Growing up I watched a lot of sitcoms like According to JimThat 70’s Show and My Wife and Kids. I have noticed something about TV Shows and movies over the years. Dads are many of the times portrayed as either lazy, incompetent and unwilling to lead. I am not saying all TV Shows or movies do that but a majority of them paint the wrong picture of who and what a dad is.

This is, believe it or not, feeding the already breakdown of the family in America. It’s not the main cause but a contributor nonetheless.

The world says:

  • Dads are lazy
  • Dads don’t do the dishes, laundry or help change diapers.
  • Dads must not show any emotion.
  • Dads don’t say I love you.
  • Dads must act tough 24/7.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. 

Recently, while my wife went to work in her classroom I was at home parenting.  She left the house around 8AM and did not come home until a little after 2PM. I was home alone with my son for six hours. I played with him in the backyard. I showed him how to pop bubbles. I fed him breakfast and lunch. I even changed his diaper many times, got him dressed and took him with me to get my wife’s SUV washed. That’s not watching or babysitting. That’s parenting.

To the dads reading this blog post, let’s not succumb to the world’s standard of who and what a dad is. I know I can’t cover everything in a single post. That’s alright. It’s my prayer for you that you seek the Lord, love your children and be there for them.  I hope you, like me, enjoy being your kid’s superhero day in and day out. You don’t have to be lazy. That’s a choice. You can help do the dishes, laundry and change your kid’s diapers. It’s a choice. And dads you can show emotion in front of your kids. That too is a choice. I tell my son everyday how much I love him. Why? Because a child who knows their loved will less likely act out. I’m not saying they won’t ever act out if you tell them you love them, but it will impact their behavior. A dad who is involved in their kid’s life gives them a better possibility of coming to Jesus. An absent father messes up a kid’s view of a dad. If they have an absent or unloving dad they then will likely compare their heavenly father to their earthly father. That can push your kids away from God. I never want to hinder my son from coming to Jesus. Being a father who loves and shows loves and prays for and with their kids will pay many dividends in your kids lives. You won’t regret it.

– Aaron Joseph Hall