This morning before the bell went two year 6 boys decided the infants playground would be a great place to have a full out fight. Despite the fact these boys were huge and a fair few dads were standing about it took a tiny 5ft+ mum to wade in and pull them apart. Of course boys being boys they kept coming back for more and each time this mum (who didn’t know either of them) kept trying to keep the boys apart. None of the dads got involved, despite being asked repeatedly to help. Most simply pretended that it wasn’t happening.
The same, I’ve noticed often seems to happen in the park. A couple of times I have seen kids fall over and watched mothers rush to help, while dads turned and walked away. At three years my own daughter fell off the slide at the park and landed by a dad who asked if she was okay as he literally stepped over her.
However, this is not a dad bashing piece but more of a – why don’t dads get involved inquiry? Speculating with the dads I know, the feeling seems to be that many either feel awkward about getting involved (def my husband – though he would stop if a child was hurt) or don’t feel they should get involved.
One stay at home dad says it happens because dads feel like outsiders both in the school playground and at the park. Another says he daren’t try to help a child when he’s on his own for fear of being called a pervert, which I think is a valid fear.
So what can we do to help dads feel like they can and should get involved? Well for a start maybe talking to them at the nursery gates, in the park or at school would help? Many of my friends say they happily chat to mothers they don’t know but rarely strike up conversations with dads. But what do you think would help? Let us know.