A dad has sparked discussion on social media after posting a picture of t-shirt saying ‘Dads don’t babysit (It’s called “parenting”)’.
The photo was posted by dad blogger Al Ferguson on the Facebook page of his community website The Dad Network, and has since been shared by more than 27,000 users.
The message has hit a chord with a lot of parents, bringing up the issue of parents being seen as ‘babysitters’ when they’re looking after their children.
Facebook user David Bell said: ‘To right, it IS parenting not babysitting, I had kids and not once did I say I was babysitting’, while Derek Organ commented to say: ‘Absolutely true , I watch my children not babysit.’
The picture has also been sparking discussion on Reddit, where many dads voiced their experiences. One dad wrote: ‘Single dad here. It’s even worse when my seven year old wants to have a sleepover; I call the parents. I explain she wants to have a sleepover and your kid is invited. Then the awkward question, will mom be there? And when you explain, no mom here – sorry, there’s that long pause. Sad to say to this day she still hasn’t had a sleepover.’
Mums also jumped in on the discussion, agreeing that the term ‘babysitting’ makes it seem that children aren’t as much of a responsibility for fathers.
‘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!!’, said Colleen Gardner Warren. Claire Benson also wrote: ‘It drives me crazy when people say they are babysitting their own children’
However, some people also took to Facebook to say babysitting was just a harmless phrase, and doesn’t really matter as long as dads spend time with their kids.
‘Who cares what u call it? Babysitting? Parenting? Adolescent retention specialist? I don’t care what u call it. I spend as much time as I can with my daughter. Do I call it babysitting? Sometimes. Does it make me a bad parent? Hell no. Political correctness is killing us. Lighten up!’, wrote Steven Lafountain.
Al’s picture also went viral on other social media platforms like Reddit
In an interview with the BBC, dad blogger Al explained why it’s important to banish the idea that dads babysit.
‘I’ve had people ask me ‘Are you looking after the kids today?’ Or ‘I can tell you’ve dressed the baby today’, he said.
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‘It’s just out of date. The modern dad is more active in their family life than they were historically. It’s out of date to assume the mum is the primary caregiver.’
What do you think? Does it annoy you to hear the term babysitting applied to dads looking after their children? Let us know in the comment section below!