Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dads As Overbearing, Control-Freak Parents

Two or three months ago, I wrote about a silly New York Magazine piece that appeared to be an effort to sneak a new parenting buzzword into the lexicon: momblocking. "Momblocking" is the term of art for the actions of a father who takes his role as primary caretaker so seriously that mom is prevented for substantial interaction with the kids. Now I'm happy that some people think that dads are now so involved that we have an epidemic of frustrated mothers who can't rip little Johnny away from dad long enough to change his diaper, but the whole thing seemed like the typical, overblown NY Mag piece.

So imagine my shock when kick-ass family and work reporter Katherine Lewis sent along this MSNBC piece from yesterday on ... momblocking. It is based largely on one anecdote, with a couple of other not-quite-momblocking examples and a lot of interesting but utterly unrelated stuff on at-home fathers. To the reporter's credit, she does try to get an expert to bless momblocking as a trend. Fortunately, she doesn't get much of an endorsement:

Dr. Craig Garfield, a pediatrician and researcher at Chicago's Northwestern University who specializes in the role of men in child-rearing, says it's still the norm for moms to act as the gatekeepers to fathers' involvement with their kids. “I’d still say it would be a unique father who is so confident in his approach to parenting as to block his partner,” Garfield says.

Still, I'll give props to the story just becayse it mentions the Stay At Home Dad Convention. Space is still available. Book your hotel room today.


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