On Monday, one user posted the image and wrote, “Important message from a dad to society.”
The photo immediately struck a chord with viewers for the brilliant way it combatted a typical stereotype about fathers.
The shirt — which fully reads, “Dads don’t babysit. (It’s called ‘parenting’)” — refers to the fact that so many people applaud fathers for looking after their kids, as if it was something out of the ordinary.
Explaining the negative effects of this stereotype, one Reddit user said: “It's a mentality (whether intentional or not) that diminishes the role fathers play in the lives of their kids. They're not seen as an equal in parenting, they're the ‘babysitter’ who only steps in occasionally when mom needs a break or something.”
Another user added: “It diminishes both roles, implying that the wife is the only one who should be caring for the children. It's just an ignorant stereotype that comes from ignorant people.”
“Now there are more working moms and more stay-at-home dads. There's been a cultural shift. I think that people need to move with the times.”
“Thank you!! I really hate when a Dad is seen as the babysitter, no!! He's the Father, just as much the parent and (should be) just as equally responsible to raise them!!” one said.
Another wrote, “So true!!!! A real crack up when dads [say] I'm babysitting. Guys would say that to my husband & he would laugh & say that exact thing.... You're not babysitting your own kid you are the dad!!!!!!”
Now that the T-shirt has brought parenting stereotypes to the forefront, The Dad Network’s Al Ferguson says things need to change.
“It's just out of date,” the UK dad told BBC. “The modern dad is more active in their family life than they were historically. It's out of date to assume the mom is the primary caregiver.”
“Now there are more working moms and more stay-at-home dads,” he continued. “There's been a cultural shift. I think that people need to move with the times.”
In 2015, a study found that dads were taking on a bigger role in the Canadian household. According to data from Statistics Canada, more than one in 10 stay-at-home parents are dads. This is a big increase considering stay-at-home dads made up two per cent of coupled families in 1976, compared to 11 per cent in 2014.
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