FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Among the ties and toolboxes that many fathers received as gifts on Father’s Day, they also got the chance to reflect on what it means to be a dad. Fatherhood has changed over the years, and a new generation of dads are dedicated to having a greater impact on their kids.
Gregory Beck of Willow Springs knows both the pleasures and challenges of being a dad. “I have three kids: 5, 9 and 11,” he said — two girls and one boy. The 39-year-old said that, despite media portrayals of lazy and out-of-touch dads, most men really embrace fatherhood. “I think dads that have kids, they want to be good dads. Whether they’re single or married, they want to be good dads.”
Family experts have said that fatherhood has changed over the years. Men are no longer the sole financial providers in a family. As a result, they are able to give their wives and kids more attention. “Now, it’s a partnership with your wife,” Beck said. “You have the opportunity now to stay at home and do all that, and be a partner with your wife.”
The Honorable Gregory Slayton has held some pretty important jobs in his lifetime. The former U.S. diplomat and current Dartmouth professor has just released a new book called “Be a Better Dad Today.” It contains some tools to give both traditional and non-traditional fathers some help. “We as dads need to say, ‘Hey, this is the most important job I’m ever going to have,’” said Slayton, who has four kids. “Let’s not just intellectually think, ‘Yeah, I want to put my family first and I want to have a lot of fun.’ Here are real ideas, real tools, real hands-on opportunities for us to improve that tool in our fatherhood tool set.”
One of Beck’s tools is spending quality time with his kids, just one of the lessons that he has learned. But Beck’s biggest advice, he said, “Be patient. That’s a big deal for me, is patience. It’s being patient with the kids. Let them figure it out. Let your children fail. Don’t feel obliged to step in and fix the problems for them.”
Slayton studied fatherhood on five different continents as research for his book. All of the book’s royalties will be given to fatherhood charities.
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