A 2013 study by the Pew Research Center found that fathers have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend with their children since 1965. Shifting attitudes, an uncertain job market and a greater emphasis on work-life balance are beginning to shift the traditional parenting roles.
Adrian Kulp is a full-time, stay-at-home dad and writes the blog Dad or Alive. He is the primary caregiver for his three children, all younger than 6. While it was difficult for him to transition to this role from being an executive, he has seen firsthand a shift in perceptions.
“I’ve come into what modern fatherhood is,” Kulp said. “The face of fatherhood is changing, and I think it’s for the better.”
This new depiction of fatherhood is being broadcast nationwide by organizations such as Lean In. The women’s empowerment group used its #LeanInTogether campaign to change representations of fathers in stock photos, as shown in a new collection by Getty Images that shows men as involved parents.
As the public definition of fatherhood changes, so too do the ways in which fathers and children interact.
Kulp said that he has never had a problem showing emotion toward his father.
“Just an open, honest dialogue between father and son goes a long way,” he said.
Experts say establishing that father-child connection requires both parties to be open. It takes time, and sometimes a blunt conversation, often initiated by the child.