Thursday, May 04, 2006

History of Fatherhood Part II. The U.S. Children's Bureau was established by Congress in 1912 in response to concern about the infant mortality rate. The new department's goal was to investigate and report on children's welfare. The Bureau was expanded under President Roosevelt and in 1932 held a symposium on "the father's role in child nuture." As noted in Ralph LaRossa's great book, The Modernization of Fatherhood, one of the symposium leaders reported on "child study groups" the Bureau had been holding.
It has been discovered that fathers are more likely to attend study groups if they are not asked to break too many established habits. In one instance, fathers were not merely permitted but were urged to bring pipes. Since fathers have for the most part enjoyed very little daily experience in parent-child relationships, they do not respond to an appeal to exchange experiences; on the contrary, they like to be addressed by specialists and authorities."
Men will always be men. We don't like to share emotional experiences. We prefer to learn new skills from specialists.


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