It is very common, unfortunately, to make jokes about dads occupying the role of the biggest kid in the house. Robert Young (“Father Knows Best”) and Bill Cosby have been replaced by Homer Simpson and numerous other fat imbeciles somehow married to thin, attractive, and super-responsible wives. But we can’t blame the media. We feed our children this dangerous “humor” all the time – and we start when they are very young. Have you read a Berenstein Bear book recently? That dad is continually portrayed as another kid mom has to put up with and the kids learn what not to do from him!

There’s a reason why this stereotype persists. Both men and women do just enough to perpetuate it. Husbands, you cannot let your wives do all the child-rearing and housework, blame her for your lack of freedom, and then expect her to respect you, and even long for you, as a man. Wives, you cannot complain about your husband’s lack of involvement, criticize his parenting and/or housework when he does get involved, and then expect him to appreciate you, and woo you, as a complete woman. One of the best things you can do for your marriage and your children is to be aware of how you treat one another.

-Hal Runkel, Author of ScreamFree Parenting