Dad’s have taken a bit of a bad rap in the parenting stakes – absent dads, non-involved dads and dads who just don’t fit the modern “sensitive new-age guy (snag)” expectations of today’s society.
To be fair, it’s pretty tough for dads today to know how they are supposed to dad. But somewhere between the macho, authoritarian figures of the past and the super emotionally connected snags of today, a new breed of post-modern dad is emerging.
These dads are celebrating “dadding” big time: you can even buy “Dadding it” sweatshirts.
The dadding craze seems to give guys an opportunity to be involved in taking care of their kids but in a wholly masculine way. Gone is the feminisation of fathering – there are no expectations to bake cookies and sing lullabies. Instead, guys are posting blogs and videos online with their most recent dadding accomplishments. These include the delicate art of holding a sleeping baby while playing Xbox, seeing how many Cheerios (a round ring breakfast cereal) they can balance on their sleeping baby’s face, and innovative uses of duct tape to restrict the geographical area of their baby’s travel.
If you’re still not quite sure what dadding is, the online urban dictionary has got it sorted for you:
“To care for offspring in a very male way. Often, but not always, accomplished with beer, TV and half-truths. Successful dadding involves the child being whole and unmarked, clean, fed, in diapers and PJs, and napping/asleep by the time the partner returns from whatever they were doing.”
It offers these examples:
“I didn’t get the chance to clean up the apartment, repair the front porch, or wash the cars. I was dadding.”
“Our child is fed, bathed, and asleep. Nice dadding!” (Alternate usage: “Our child is still alive and in one piece. Nice dadding!”)
The internet is where dadding has truly gone viral. We’ve even got our own Kiwi dadding expert Jordan Watson, whose first video, How to Hold a Baby, has had more than 2 million views on YouTube.
Along with baby daughter Alba, he’s gone on to make a slew of video hits including How to Travel With a Baby, How to Get Ready in the Morning and How to Build a Castle for Your Kids.
His videos encapsulate the heart of dadding: he washes his daughter in the kitchen sink with the dishes and pretends to hypnotise her to sleep, all the while taking a laid-back, Kiwi bloke-ish approach to the role of fathering.
Watson has been contacted by media across the globe, appearing on the Huffington Post and Daily Mail, and he’s just one of hundreds of dads out their proudly displaying their dadding nous.
More than just humour though, dadding has opened up a whole online world in which dads can find and relate to other dads who go through the same dadding challenges as them. It’s like the equivalent of a mother’s Plunket group without the emotions.
So if your other half is looking for dad hacks, shortcuts, gimmicks and workarounds, along with a healthy dose of connecting with other dads just like them, a quick online search for dadding will get them on the right track.
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