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A long time ago, way back in the 1950\'s, there was a cold, icy creature
known as the "fifties father." He rarely displayed affection, and he hid most
of his feelings behind the newspaper. Most of the child-rearing duties were
left to mom. We can kiss those days good-bye! In Western cultures there is an
increasing number of men who are extremely active in all stages of raising their
children. The old "fifties father" is now becoming the "nineties nanny."
These modern "superdads", as we call them, have to manage the tough job
of raising children and supporting them financially. Men have to fo this
without the help of a previous role model in a past generation to model
themselves after. Not having a role model makes being a superdad tougher than
being a single mom. It leads to the creation of a "superdad syndrome."
Superdad syndrome stems from the fact that boys growing up have very
little practice at homemaking. Boys who play with dolls are considered weirdos
while girls who play with dolls and participate in sports are trained for
anything. Men can do a great job raising their children and providing basic
needs, support, and love, but a man can never be a mother. A good example of
this is Joel Chaken from New York City. He quit his job as an engineer to stay
at home with his baby. His wife was an attorney. After a while he felt
isolated at home all the time, and ne wanted to join a support group for new
mothers who felt the same way. He was kicked out because he was not a mom, he
was a superdad. Men need support groups of their own, for fathers.
Even though there is an increasing number of dads taking care of their
children, the court system rarely gives full custody to fathers. When superdads
get custody of their children, they find it very rewarding to get closer to
their kids. They also feel a sense of nobility. Many people look at single
fathers with greater respect than single mothers. Fathers are seen as
"superheroes." One such superhero dad is Rudy Szabo of Cleveland, Ohio. When
his wife left, he quit his job as supervisor ar BEK Industries to stay at home
with his two sets of young twins. He changed 72 diapers and mixed 30 bottles of
formula every day, all while getting by on $500 per month. Rudy truly
classifies as a superdad according to psychologist Stuart Fischoff. He says,
"Superdads are men who sacrifice and structure their lives around parenting."
More and more, now numbering nearly 250,000, superdads are making these changes
and sacrifices. They are learning every day and doing it all on their own.
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Parenting, Family, Fatherhood, Single parent, Father
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