I'm on welfare right now, and so I have to spend a lot of time waiting for services and doing paperwork, etc etc.....

Yesterday I observed a family of about 10 people. They were muslim because the women's heads were covered. The men wearing business casual type clothes. I could not understand what language they spoke. For some reason I thought it might have been Kurdish....anyway.....there was a young girl there about my son's age (4). She kept going to her papa and hanging off his arm, wanting his attention. He was busy talking to the man next to him. His brother maybe? Anyway, he didn't look at her, or even embrace her. He didn't shoo her away either, but I couldn't help but wonder why he didn't respond. At all....she seemed like a normal healthy well adjusted child, but the only people who interacted with her were her mother, grandmother, and siblings. He fathers were separate.

Anyway it got me thinking about how men parent around the world. Why do men cower away from being more involved with their kids? I wonder if men were socialized to take care of children like girls would they be better parents? Do men WANT to do more? Or could they care less about childrearing? Is it ingrained genetically, or taught socially that they do not play an important role, when research CLEARLY shows that fathers are vital to the raising of healthy children? Do men need to be taught HOW to be fathers or do they just not care as much as women?

I know that's a lot of questions....just wondering what the men thing about this.

Another example: my ex-husband had our son at his house and he was acting up. So he called ME to come get him, saying he was on the verge of "doing something"........knowing immediately what he meant I rushed over there in panic....then when we talked about it later he says, "When he's acting like that, better his mother come deal with him" (meaning me).....as if he's not capable or responsible for figuring out what to do to take care of his own son. It ruined my plans for the afternoon and put a strain on the rest of my weekend....

Anyway, I'm just wondering if that's the kind of attitude men naturally have. I don't really know what "healthy" looks like (sad, I know..) Hope this can be a good discussion about the attitudes of men towards raising their children.

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"Do men need to be taught HOW to be fathers or do they just not care as much as women?"


In an environment of unconditional love the sex of the parent is irrelevant. The bond between father and child is unquestionable and enduring. But I speak of a healthy balanced relationship that often never exists for many children. As the step child of a Vietnam war veteran I was raised in an environment of indifference and devoid of expressions of love. Thankfully I have realized that my upbringing was not normal and not my fault.

In an environment of unconditional love the sex of the parent is irrelevant.

Unconditional love is only part of the job of a parent. Also, unconditional love can be interpreted in different ways. Is the parent who always backs up a child who is misbehaving at school providing unconditional love? In their interpretation, they may be. 

...I'm just wondering if that's the kind of attitude men naturally have.

Belle, it's not natural; most men learn it.

When my baby sister and baby brother were infants, my dad and my sibs shared most child care duties. Including when the two peed in their diapers; my dad and all of my sibs changed them. However, when the two pooed in their diapers, my dad with great hilarity said they were my mom's babies. She and maybe my older sister changed them; my brother and I didn't.

I don't really know what "healthy" looks like....

On behavioral issues my mom and dad were "old-world German tyrants" and occasionally violent. I was 41 and divorced, with no kids, when a woman I was dating occasionally told me that she and her four kids, their ages from 9 to 13, made family decisions in council. It surprised me pleasantly.

The morning after the first time I stayed all night, she told me that if the kids had objected I wouldn't have stayed. This one stunned me, also pleasantly.

My schoolteacher wife had taught fifth graders comprehensive sex education and we talked about what kids said, but I was stunned all the same.


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