Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

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New Skool Dads
Indiana Dads Expo Offers Day of Workshops, Networking, Products and More

by Christopher Maples

May 01, 2011

Some things are better when they’re “old skool”. Music (The Rolling Stones). Toys (He-Man). Television shows (The Dukes of Hazzard). Cartoons (Tom & Jerry). Video games (Galaga).

Then some things, well, they’re just not. Like dads.

Your dad, if he was like mine, probably kicked it “old skool”. He played with us, but he wasn’t involved in changing our diapers or cleaning up our messes. He wanted us to be smart, but he wasn’t going to PTA meetings or chaperoning a field trip. He wanted us to be good little men and women, but he was not showing us much physical or verbal affection. I’m not passing judgment, I’m just saying that it’s just how it was back in the day.

But being an “old skool” dad now, is no longer acceptable.

Just as the traditional roles of moms have evolved to take them out of the home more often, so have the roles of dads, but just in the opposite direction. That’s a change that most dads embrace – we’re down with being “new skool”! But the market of resources and products targeted at dads has been unbelievably slow in realizing that change and acting to fill the void.

Just six years ago, when I went to the bookstore the day I found out my wife was pregnant with our first child, I found only one book targeted to men about pregnancy from a dad’s perspective. When my son was born, my wife was given a huge backpack from the hospital, filled with helpful information for her. I was given one little flier, and it was about how I could support her in breastfeeding.

But organizations like Dads Inc., IndyDads.com and All-Pro Dads, are finally making some headway in changing that. We know that dads are unsure of what they’re doing and need support, too – especially the first time around. Our childless friends abandon us when we have children, too. We know that dads would like to find a diaper bag that looks more like a tool belt (what it really is) and less like a pink poodle.

So these organizations, and several others, have come together to offer the Indiana Dads Expo on Saturday, May 21st, here in Indy. This is going to be a day of workshops designed specifically for dads; networking opportunities with other men who share your values about fatherhood; vendor booths with products just for dads; lunch; and even a Kid Zone for the kids while Daddy is in the workshops so that Mommy doesn’t get stuck at home. For more information about the event, visit www.indianadadsexpo.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/indianadadsexpo.

I hope to see all you “new skool” dads there.