Dads Are Parents, Not Babysitters


by John Ellis

For the longest time, TV shows that rely on the bungling dad trope didn’t bother me. I guess, on one level, they still don’t. I mean, I think that fathers as goofballs isn’t necessarily bad. I love making my kids laugh, and I love goofing off with them. But, on the flipside, I also want to make sure that my children view me as much of a parent as their mom, and as much of a capable parent as their mom. TV shows often don’t present a nuanced image of dads, and unfortunately the bungling dad trope has spilled over into broader society. Many people seem to believe that dads are lost as parents without moms. To that end, I’m no longer a fan of TV shows that portray dads as incapable compared to moms.   

I’m incredibly grateful for my wife; I can’t imagine parenting without her. On the flipside, she says the same about me, and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful that by God’s grace, I haven’t forced her to do the parenting alone. And by parenting, I mean actively raising our two kids in all areas of their lives. Of course, she has parenting strengths in areas in which I’m lacking, and vice-versa. But, when she’s away and certain situations arise in which she’s better equipped to handle, it would be a sinful shirking of my duty as a parent to throw my hands up and sigh, “Too bad mom’s not here. Oh, well.”

My latest article for PJ Media deals with how society often pejoratively views dads, especially in reference to when mom is out of town. I hope that if it accomplishes anything, my article serves as a clarion call to men to take parenting seriously, not rely too much on their wives, and not give any reason for others to buy into the bungling dad trope. When our wives leave town for whatever reason, no one should have to wonder how things are going to go. Dads are the parent of their children, too.


One thought on “Dads Are Parents, Not Babysitters

  1. The scourge of our culture is fatherlessness. The data is clear. When the father is actively involved in the parenting of his children, the quality of those children’s lives — the quality of the family — and the quality of communities rise exponentially. However, a big problem in some communities is the presence of fathers, but the presence of PASSIVE fathers. We only get one shot at parenting. We fathers need to be all-in. And grandfathers need to work hard at discipline and mentoring their grandchildren, too. Thanks for drawing attention to an extremely important issue, John. Great biblical commentary, sir!

    Liked by 1 person

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