Social Trends 1: The changing “Father – Child” relationship

10 Jan

One social change which probably will find resonance with lots of people with or around young kids is the changed ‘father-child’ dynamics.

Today we find fathers spending more time with their kids and being concerned about their upbringing on a day to day basis.

This is a phenomenon of the recent years, as earlier, at least during my growing up years (and as corroborated by others in my social group) fathers were less involved with their kids and largely limited their roles to the providers of the family. This is not to take away the huge influence they had as role models and custodians of the family values.

The question that begs to be answered is what brought this change?

One can hazard multiple guesses for the same.

One acceptable theory could emanate from the recent trend of ‘metro-sexual’ behavior expected from the men. The society is creating an extraneous pressure and defining acceptable behavior. This in turn gets internalized by men at a micro-level leading to changed behavior and attitude towards certain facets of life. After all what is ‘metro-sexual’ but to exhibit certain female traits (with family as the fulcrum of this definition).

We can approach this from another direction – the nuclear family and working moms. In this case it is not a question of intent but of compulsion. If this was true, there is no change in the desired attitude but the manifestation can be seen in behavior. But this assumption will be bear out on all the parameters.

But in my opinion the reason for the same is different. And there has not been in any change in the attitude. Fathers of the previous years and the fathers today have a similar psychological make-up, what has changed are the social dynamics. And the change we are experiencing today has a direct correlation with the social pressures and expectations.
The fathers measure their success (as a parent) with the success of their children. They largely limit their role to ensuring that the kids are able to realize their potential in the outside world. Twenty-thirty years back (maybe much less) it meant ensuring that they are able to provide the best facilities and amenities. And this would ensure success. The competition probably was much less severe and the definition of success – the bar – was pegged much lower. Doctor, engineer, government official.

Today the parameters of success have changed. And the parents of today find themselves struggling in the new world. The face the ignominy of the unknown every day. Uncertain future. Missed Megabucks. They crave success which was fiefdom of the only the born rich for themselves. But for the majority the opportunity probably is already missed (lack of training, talent, ambition, fear).

To ensure the success of the kids (mega success or the new acceptable benchmarks and standards of success) fathers no longer can play passive roles. They need to actively train their children for the success that they missed.

The responsibility that fathers always believed has remained unmoved only the manifestation & expression has changed.

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One Response to “Social Trends 1: The changing “Father – Child” relationship”

  1. The Ultimate Motorcyclist January 10, 2008 at 10:07 pm #

    Check this !!

    http://extrememotorcycling.blogspot.com/2007/02/man-of-2000-and-beyond.html

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