588. RISE OF THE CO-PARENTWith moms’ earnings key to supporting many families and fathers devoting more time to their role, dads are joining moms at theemotional heart of the family. “There certainly is a different attitude that ‘father’ doesn’t equal just somebody who provides—puts food on the table … and then is hands-off,” says Brad Harrington of the Boston College Center for Work & Family.In our survey, men were almost equally likely to see emotional support for family as a primary definer of men today (52%) asthey were to name financial support (55%), once the traditional defining factor of being a man. And half of men named parentingabilities as one of the primary factors defining men.Marketers are starting to showcase the father’s emotional supportand engagement in his child’s life, sometimes to tear-jerking effect.In Google Chrome’s “Dear Sophie,” for instance, a dad uses Web toolsto log memories of his daughter as she grows up, emailing them forher to see once she’s grown. “We felt so helpless,” he recalls of ahigh fever and later writes, “I can’t wait to share these [emails] withyou someday.” Subaru depicts adad anxiously taking his daughterto the bus for her first day ofkindergarten, then followingin his car, explaining that hedrives a Subaru because he’s“overprotective.”2/3of American menbetween 18 and 34 say beinga good parent is one of themost important things intheir lives, up from 39% in1997, according to the PewResearch CenterImage credit: Google
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