Is there such a thing as a “pledge season”? As I am going through my emails and connecting with my network, I am noticing three recurring pledges that resonate with me as a father. It just so happens that I am attending the Dad 2.0 summit for the first time today. Writing this blog post feels not only timely but necessary. Fatherhood and masculinity are at a crossroad. As dad influencers, we should be at the forefront of creating change: showing commitment and leadership by raising our voices for the wellbeing of our children (and our own) feels like the right thing to do. Here are three pledges all fathers should take today.
1. The Pledge for Paternity Leave
This amazing initiative from Dove Men Care invites expecting fathers to take full advantage of their paternity leave. Their mission to make paid paternity leave the new normal. Over the next two years they are committing $1 million to fund paternity leave for real dads so they can take this meaningful time off.
According to Dove Men Care, less than 1 in 5 men in the U.S. are offered any paid paternity leave. Most dads who benefit from it don’t believe they can take their full time off to care for their new born. They say it best in their website:
“Working dads shouldn’t have to choose between their children and a paycheck—because when they take paternity leave, it benefits families, workplaces and communities.”
This initiative echoes the one Dove Men Care created a year ago for Father’s day. It was called #DearFutureDad which inspire me to write this open letter.
“As a current or expectant dad, I pledge to take my full leave. As an ally, I pledge to share the positive impacts of paternity leave and call on officials to endorse parental leave policies.”
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2. The Child Safety Pledge
This pledge is not uplifting. It addresses a very serious issue that I know will touch you as a father.
The Child Safety Pledge is a collaborative effort to raise awareness and encourage organizations to adopt best practices to protect against child sexual abuse. They believe that every youth-serving organization aspires to provide a safe environment for the children in their care, and we seek to empower them with the capacity to do exactly that.
- 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused by age 18
- 20% of the children who are sexually abused are abused before the age of 8
- 60% of child sexual abuse victims never tell anyone
“As a parent, I pledge to do everything in my power to keep my children safe. I pledge to shatter the silence on child sexual abuse and shine light on our ability to prevent this tragedy from happening so frequently in our society. I pledge to ask the tough questions and help create an environment of transparency, accountability, and safety in our youth-serving organizations.”
3. The Healthy Manhood Pledge
The #HealthyManhood Pledge is an initiative from one of my favorite organization: A call to men. I covered them many times on my blog namely as one of my favorite organizations promoting healthy masculinity and by featuring their CEO Tony Porter.
I really appreciate the way they formulate the introduction of their pledge, which points out the highly dysfunctional culture of mainstream masculinity:
“Our culture dictates that men must be powerful and dominating, fearless and in control, strong and emotionless, and successful – and that women are objects, property and less than. The messages are everywhere.”
The pledge itself is brilliantly articulated:
There you have it! Three pledges all Fathers should take today. I hope you do it for your children, our children and for yourself.