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Fathers becoming more involved, playful

June 17, 2009 at 12:20 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, June 17 (UPI) -- U.S. experts say fathers nationwide are becoming more involved in their children's lives, occasionally taking a playful approach to parenting endeavors.

Associate professor of psychology Aaron Rochlen of the University of Texas-Austin said the current parenting trend represents a radical shift in social expectations regarding how fathers approach their familial duties, USA Today reported Wednesday.

"It's cool now to be an active, involved father," Rochlen said. "Overall, men being more active fathers is starting to become more of the norm and less of the anomaly."

Jeremy Adam Smith, author of "The Daddy Shift," agrees that more and more men are embracing non-traditional male family activities and bringing a sense of humor to such efforts.

"They're doing the dishes and taking care of the kids, but it doesn't match with that traditional male image, so they laugh about it. They giggle. They make jokes," Smith said.

But psychotherapist Will Courtenay insists some fathers are still clinging to more traditional male roles in U.S. families.

"You certainly see traditional masculinity of the 1950s still alive and very well in many men," he told USA Today.

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