Breaking the Desi Dad Stereotype

Photo courtesy Masalamommas

Photo courtesy Masalamommas

A typical South Asian father is usually seen as a disciplinarian, a no-nonsense practical man often spouting advice on the real world, giving lectures on consequences just before taking out his leather belt. Ouch. Oh yes, the South Asian father was meant to be feared. The sound of his booming voice as he returned home from the office would quickly scatter all the children to their rooms. He was the bread winner which meant child-rearing and housework was not part of his domain. With the rare exception, most South Asian families have experienced some version of this in their fathers and grandfathers.

Fast forward to today’s generation you will find a complete shift in the role of the South Asian dad. When I think of my husband, my friends’ husbands, my cousins husbands, not one of them fits the stereotype. Each of them are equally hardworking, some come home on time and some consistently work late, but the commonality amongst them is they all want to be involved in their children’s lives.  With the rare exception, today’s desi dads do not have a problem with household chores or partaking in the daily ‘dirty’ of child-rearing (i.e. diapers, feeding, clean ups).

So what has changed from our father’s time to our husband’s time?

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