Just in case you haven't noticed (maybe you're from a distant planet!), fathers and mothers have very different parenting styles. In honor of Father's Day, we're going to explore, with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor, "The Dad Approach" to parenting. Due to the gross generalizations used, stereotype-police, you're officially on notice!
Moms can often tell when a father has dressed his children. They're the kids who look slightly wrinkled and let's just say, creatively attired. Part of the problem is that fathers tend to be matching-impaired. In their minds, wearing a striped shirt with plaid pants may be a fine combination. Dads are also not fazed by seasonal wardrobe constraints. For instance, they may not see a problem with teaming a long-sleeved velour shirt with cotton shorts.
Dads tend to be very, shall we say, relaxed, in this area. Unless his child is encrusted with a full inch of mud, a father doesn't register that the youngster needs a bath.
When it comes to laundry, the average father is often unable to identify clean versus dirty clothing. Holding up a shirt from across the room, a man will ask his wife, "Is this clean?" What's more remarkable, she'll be able to tell him.
Fathers foster a sense of independence in their children by allowing them to dress themselves and to brush their hair and teeth unassisted, once they've reached the ripe old age of nine months. Dads are also very trusting. If a child responds affirmatively to the question, "Did you brush your teeth and hair?" fathers may simply take the child's word for it.
Fathers don't have them, and they miss out on most of the nighttime shenanigans. When there's throwing up, crouping, or crying going on, it's usually Mom who's taking care of the child. The reason? Dad's still sleeping. Men have a remarkable ability to remain asleep under unbelievably chaotic, and LOUD conditions. And when a father can be roused, he often remains useless. By the time he's through staggering around the bedroom in a semi-conscious state trying to figure out where he is, the crisis is almost always over.
Tidying up is not a strong area for many dads. While moms frequently employ the "Clean As You Go" method, fathers seem to subscribe to the "Mess—What Mess?" philosophy. Their motto: "I ignore, therefore I don't have to clean."
OK, so fathers have their faults, but here's where dads really shine:
When it comes to playmates, kids know their dads are the best. Fathers really know how to play. No matter what the game, dads seem to know the rules and how to make it even more fun. Plus, they're able to completely immerse themselves in the activity without holding anything back. Moms may look on with wonder—and a little envy.
If it weren't for fathers, kids would probably never learn how to ride bikes, climb ladders, or scramble up monkey bars. While a mom is fearfully trying to position herself underneath her child on a climbing structure, repeatedly yelling, "Be careful!" dads are calmly watching the action from the other side of the playground.
In a nutshell, kids listen to Dad. A mom can yell till the veins stick out in her neck, and still the child manages to ignore her. Not so dads. If a father raises his voice, the child's lower lip begins to tremble, and the offensive behavior is immediately stopped.
Though mothers are surely no slouches at comforting and snuggling, fathers have it all over them in other ways. From the moment a baby is born, a father develops a special "touch." As children grow older, dads tickle, wrestle, rock and roll them with a joyous abandon that seems to be innate. And there's nothing like a dad's hug to make a child feel completely safe, cherished, and loved.
On the whole, dads have an awful lot going for them. We love them for all the things they do, and forgive them for all the things they don't. As children we strive to be just like them, and even as adults, dads are frequently the ones we look to first for help, guidance, and acceptance. So thanks dads, we're blessed to have you in our lives. Happy Father's Day!