Losing Man Points Vs. Being a Good Dad

One year.

As I’ve established before, and as current American society itself now reflects, the new norm for dads is to be actively involved in their kids’ lives. In fact, being a good dad equates as being a good man in general. And as I’ve written about before, it is literally impossible for a happily married man to be a good dad without being a good husband.

So with that being said, how can a man be a good dad, a good husband, and yet still be considered cool amongst his guy friends? Good question, if I do say so myself.

We have to keep in mind, though, that as society’s expectations of dads have increased, mens’ expectations of each other’s manliness have altered accordingly.

Can anyone really argue that one of the most masculine things a man can do is to be an actively involved, motivating and motivated father? Seriously, what’s more manly than a guy who sacrifices his time and energy on teaching, entertaining, and caring for his kids? Not much else.

Obviously, no man points are lost because a dad turns off the football game to play Barbies with his daughter. Or because he kisses his son even when no one else is around. Not shameful at all; no man points lost whatsoever. In fact, man points are earned from doing those things.

Today, when a man enters the world of Fatherhood, he soon realizes that he naturally begins to embrace new roles that traditionally were more feminine; as his own wife has to go out into the workplace just like he does. It was a lot different for our grandparents when they were young parents.

But this is the 2010′s. Men change diapers and don’t complain. Honestly, I see no irony or even humor in a man changing a dirty diaper anymore. It’s just another part of being an American dad. I remember it being different even in the 1990′s. Now though, the willingness to change a diaper without hesitation is simply one more way to earn man points.

Granted, there have to be some issues where a man abuses his “Dad Badge” and crosses the line. But how can you know what those limits are?

For example, if a man drives a mini-van does he lose man points? Of course not. Because he worked hard for the money to buy a vehicle to transport his family around in. In fact, I say it takes a bigger man to drive a mini-van.

It’s like a man wearing a pink shirt. As long as you do it right- meaning you don’t wear it with (pleated!) khakis, but instead dark pants or jeans- you’re all clear.

But just how far does the Dad Badge stretch? What exactly does a man’s “Parent Pass” cover him for? As the two coexist, what is acceptable and what is jumping the shark?

After some extensive research over this past Thanksgiving, including asking my Facebook friends, coworkers, and real-life friends, I believe I have been able to pinpoint at what point a man goes from “good dad” to “that dad.”

Now that I’ve got you all curious, I invite you to read about my findings:

4 Ways Dads Get Their Man Cards Pulled

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  1. by Deb

    On November 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Unfortunately Nick, my husband has not gotten that memo. He still acts like its 1949 and we’re in our twenties! So much for young people changing the old world.