The role played by fathers in the upbringing and overall development of a child is changing drastically. Childcare is now a collective responsibility rather than just the duty of a mother. Organisations realise the importance of both parents working and are ensuring an enabling environment for them.
Policy makers from India are now proposing a ‘Paternity Benefit Bill’ for consideration in the next session of the Parliament, according to a UNICEF report, which allows fathers up to three months of paid paternity leave.
Digital innovations such as Alexa, iPads, Google Homes, robotic devices and other applications are great contributors to the mental enhancement of children.
Fathers have started taking special initiatives and volunteer to be involved in their children’s early learning process and have started stepping up to influence and engage more actively in their children’s lives in myriad ways.
Dads are seen actively participating in school events, cheering for their young kids on special occasions and their extra-curricular activities. They try and create their work schedules with additional flexibility. Fatherhood, in its entirety, is transforming as dads aren’t relegated to the post of a disciplinarian anymore and are instead profusely hands on and are enjoying a more nurturing mantle.
Whether it is physically being there for soccer games, book-reading sessions, piano recitals, robotics coaching or emotionally being participative, fathers are providing utmost warmth and support. There has been a paradigm shift in how fathers are viewing their roles and they strongly believe in shared parenting.
Organisations, too, realise that the percentage of working parents has significantly grown and are now ensuring an enabling environment for them by the introduction of flexi timings and daycares.
The Banyan, a Corporate Daycare chain for children between the age group of 9 months to 8 years, has noted a persistent engagement of fathers who are seen picking and dropping their children to the centres and regularly being in contact with the staff about their child’s medical needs, making sure that a proper routine is followed. Fathers are seen bathing, dressing and changing the diapers of their little ones and the relationship between them is accelerating day by day.
Having a collaboration with FunWagon, an enterprise that caters to children and young adults, The Banyan is facilitating and promoting experiential learning through fun-filled excursions. Parents and children are together able to participate and engage in interactive cultural activities and field trips, walks and other such unique events.
The new generation of millennial dads also have a remarkable impact. They strive to be ‘perfect’ fathers and have a noteworthy influence on purchase decisions. They are seen investing actively on their child’s future by being involved in leading academies such as BeSingular, where children are empowered with skills in emerging domains inclusive of AR/VR, 3-D printing, robotics and imaging among others. Through this, there is a notable focus on honing the creative instincts of children and spark innovations.
The ‘Father Effect’ has numerous advantages, as has been suggested by many researchers and leading academies. Fathers indeed have a distinct style of communication and interaction and by disrupting stereotypes, fatherhood has gone a long way in providing emotional, cognitive and behavioural development, all rolled into one!