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Commentary: Everyone wants devoted dads

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Posted: Saturday, June 14, 2014 7:00 pm

Father’s Day is Sunday, which means that it’s time for pundits and politicians to scold the American public — with special ire reserved for black members of the American public — for our supposed indifference to the wonder and awe of fatherhood. Jessica Lahey has a piece in the Atlantic this week called “The Case for Dedicated Dads,” in which she argues, “Mothers are very important to their children’s development, of course, but research has shown that fathers help kids grow in specific ways.” Dozens of other writers are making the same argument, pegged to Father’s Day, for a variety of local and national media sources.

“Being around dads affects children’s biology, which in turn affects their mental states, like happiness, and their success in life,” wrote Mark Oppenheimer in The New York Times earlier this month. Sue Shellenbarger of the Wall Street Journal agrees, arguing, “The way dads tend to interact has long-term benefits for kids, independent of those linked to good mothering.” The Atlantic, in particular, loves reminding people, over and over, that, given a choice between Great Dad or No Dad, Great Dad is by far the better option. There was “Why Dads Matter” on Feb. 23 (not to be confused with the new book Do Fathers Matter? Answer: Yes); “A Key to College Success: Involved Dads” on April 22; and “The Distinct, Positive Impact of a Good Dad” on June 14, 2013.

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Today’s New Mexican, July 23, 2014

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