Daddy Diary – The Mythology of the Self-Anointed High Value Man and the Essential Need For Highly Engaged Fathers

I cannot overstate the following sentiment enough: The Internet is currently inundated with self-proclaimed lifestyle and relationship consultants dispensing brutally terrible advice to individuals that are obviously seeking to address some void in their lives. Generally, I don’t consciously wade into muddy social media waters, but some of the guidance that these men have offered is pure, unadulterated foolishness. Now, before I address the main issue of my unsolicited tirade, I have to place some due respect on the game. The recipe: Conflate some minor truth with your own prejudiced agenda, deliver inflammatory content in a controversial manner targeted at a specific demographic, and articulate your points so convincingly that you are perceived as a credible source. If the objective is to stimulate increased viewership, it is an extremely effective tactic, especially when combined with classic gaslighting.

So, what is it that has me slightly agitated at the moment? Well, I decided to view this one particular self-appointed expert regarding the definition of a high value man. After seeing all the buzz on social media, I wanted to see what had everyone talking. To be perfectly clear, the term high value man is extremely subjective. Nevertheless, the term was intriguing and I was curious regarding the involved prerequisites that had women clamoring for the opportunity to secure one. Viewing a few videos, it appeared the term revolved exclusively around elevated social status and wealth. Upon listening to one particular broadcast, I quickly realized the litany of responsibilities heaped upon women were tired misogynistic tropes that reminded me of a Mad Men era that became extinct long ago. I won’t explore a point by point analysis, but one proclamation that stood out was terribly problematic for me. Allow me to set the scene; a young woman calls into broadcast inquiring about the attainment of a high quality man. What followed was a bewildering, painful listen that left me wondering how people took this man seriously.

The speaker addresses the hard work required by a wife to keep said high value man. This assertion especially caught my attention: You’re (the wife) up at 5 o’clock in the morning, going to the gym, working out, making sure that by the time you get back, the kids are up. You have the kids breakfast ready, the kids are out the door. Make sure the kids get back home, the homework gets done, the kids are ready to go. I ain’t doing nothing for the kids. You have to get the kids ready to go…parent teacher conferences, homework, and everything else. I just look over it from an executive position and say great. Then you get the kids ready to go on and so forth. and then you serve your husband.

Now, if that looks like a tough read, it sounded much worse on video. And I even omitted some parts that further highlighted the servile role of the wife in the marriage. To be sure, this guidance from a “professional” is garbage. Now, full disclosure, I am not licensed in the field of psychology or social behavior, but anyone with a grain of commonsense can recognize bad advice when it is so nakedly blatant. Allow me to be perfectly clear, regardless of economic status, a man never abdicates his responsibilities as a father. There is more to providing for one’s family beyond providing for one’s family. In the context above, the husband (a 6 figure earner) has been reduced to the role of an automated workhorse whose sole purpose is to provide financial stability to his kid(s) and indentured servant. Apologies, I meant to type wife there.

Now, be sure to recognize this: An absentee father does not necessarily correlate to a man that does not reside with his children. An absentee father can indeed live under the same roof. If he is not fully present mentally, emotionally, or spiritually for his kids – then that man is indeed absent. A man simply cannot be disengaged from his children. A man should not be so absorbed in his professional life to the detriment of his relationship with his children, or his wife for that matter. You will work yourself to death and your job will be posted before your obituary, while your children won’t even know the man being eulogized. Fathers need to be fathers. That is why the advice and viewpoint above is so wantonly reckless. It is imperative that men are totally engaged in their children’s lives, whether in or out of the house. I understand that an individual has a right to their opinion. And the Internet is wide open for anyone to espouse an ideology on any platform. So, it is my duty to encourage, educate, and empower you with some facts courtesy of fatherhood.org.

  • Involved fathers improve their children’s overall emotional and social well-being.
  • Involved fathers reduce moms’ parenting stress.
  • Children with absent fathers are more likely to become absent fathers themselves.
  • Boys have fewer behavior problems and girls have fewer psychological problems when they have involved fathers.
  • Father involvement in schools is associated with higher likelihood of a student getting mostly A’s.
  • A father’s involvement during pregnancy positively influences health outcomes for mom, dad, and baby.
  • Daughters are less likely to engage in risky sexual behavior when they have consistent contact, and a sense of closeness with their dads.
  • Involved fathers lead to less distress in toddlers.
  • Children with involved dads are less likely to be mistreated.
  • One in four children live in a home without a dad.

Social media has elevated superficiality to such dizzying heights, the obvious deprivation of oxygen has impaired rational, logical thought in some individuals. If you are an adult and still utilize fabricated grade school metrics to assess beauty; perhaps you should reevaluate your current state of maturity. Now, I am not here to call anyone out for clout or stimulate website views – I run a small operation here. Nevertheless, small platform or not, moral courage is what compels my voice address disinformation and otherwise bad counsel. This is not rocket science. I wholly understand that the term “high value man” is a hot Internet catchphrase right now. However, the definition of value in this regard has been perverted to massage male fragility and insecurity while masquerading as a self-professed alpha male. Engaged fathers matter. Fully present fathers matter. Attentive fathers matter. I won’t get into deep dive regarding what determines a high value man. I’ve been chronicling specific standards that I believe a man should uphold on this site since 2008 – far before high value man became a buzzword. My thoughts generally focus on principled core values and ethical fundamentals. Many facets of a gentleman’s life (professional, family, community, talent/skill, personality) should account for what determines value. Bottom-line, again, fathers need to be fathers.

Today, without provocation, my daughter blurted out the definition of opaque. Approximately one week ago, she was discussing the concept of transparency (she had learned it in school), so I asked her if she knew the definition of opaque. She did not, and so I explained. Today, without provocation, she decided to reiterate that knowledge. She was so proud. And where did our initial conversation occur? It occurred during school pick-up. Me picking up the kids from school – fancy that. Miles knows how to pick fresh parsley, sauté vegetables, and grate various foods. How? Well, that is accomplished by inviting my son into the kitchen to prepare dinner for the family. Wait – I’m not supposed to be cooking, or shopping, or cleaning am I? Shame on me for engaged in matters of my home beyond paying a bill.

Trust, there is a tremendous benefit to being able to financially support or contribute to one’s family. Nevertheless, it would be woefully ignorant to underestimate the sense of fulfillment when you practice selflessness and serve your family. In addition to his family, a man will be performing a disservice to himself by depriving his life of those intimate, meaningful connections that can only be achieved through significant interaction. That value is incalculable. The pride that wells inside your chest as you watch your daughter recite the church poem you practiced with her days before. The gratitude you feel when your son grabs his stool to reach the counter because he never turns down an opportunity to cook with his father. The excitement you feel Christmas morning as you see the elation in their eyes as they tear through gifts. The feeling of devotion you feel when you set the alarm on your phone to wake up in timed intervals to deliver breathing treatments to your infant daughter through her crib bars. The trust you feel when you’re called to remove a splinter from a hand or foot. Amusement. Joy. Affection. In matters of your mental and emotional well-being, you cannot place a price tag on that. There are days when a memory or picture of my children is required to get me through the day. I need them as much as they need me some days.

Look, I’m not extraordinary special. I just understand the importance of engaged fatherhood. So, salute to Iman B. for exposing his son to woodworking during those special home projects. Salute to Adrian S. for his involvement in his son’s athletics and traveling out of state to attend championship tournaments. Salute to Milon B. for being involved with both his son and daughter during STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities. These are gentlemen within my peer group. And to any gentleman out there in the real world handling their business as nurturers and providers – salute to you too.

The Standard #53

Despite modern, progressive viewpoints regarding the construct of masculinity here in America; society at large is sometimes guilty of perpetuating and reinforcing stereotypes that it seemingly discourages. It is an interesting bit of hypocrisy. I found it particularly amusing when popular men’s magazines – looking at you GQ – had the temerity to lecture men about the perceived current disrepair of manhood while completely ignoring their culpability and literary sins regarding the topic. It wasn’t long ago that men’s fashion didn’t fawn over the wildly popular show Mad Men and its resident alpha male Don Draper. Mad Men – toxic masculinity personified but stylishly portrayed with critical acclaim. From the appearance of the latest GQ offerings, I surmise that it isn’t trendy anymore. Oh, how soon they forget. Now, I won’t pretend there aren’t bad actors out there that don’t represent the best of the male population. They are great in number. Yet those men have become the archetype for all things toxic, negative, and dysfunctional about men as a whole. Lost in the shuffle of a culture war (waged across social media, television, publications, etc.) revolving around gender roles and expectations; we are ignorant of a sect of regular gentlemen that is perhaps more indicative of manhood than what is portrayed in the mainstream – invisible to the general public.

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The Standard #27

successAre men really men anymore? It’s a simple question that arrives unquestionably with a complex answer – if indeed there is an answer at all. I’m writing about this subject as I recently read Why Men Aren’t Really Men Anymore and the counter article A Response To “Why Men Aren’t Really Men Anymore”. So, I have decided to toss a couple of cents into the conversation. I am not a psychologist, so I cannot expertly analyze what and what does not make a man nowadays. Therefore, I will simply put forth, at least in my head, what a man should be. I won’t compile a laundry list right now, so perhaps I will present a different concept every now and again. So, what are some of the traits and characteristics that make a man…a man? Let’s begin begin with just one.

A man, or maybe even more specifically – a gentleman, should feel empathy and sympathy. A gentleman exudes the necessary strength when he understands that his partner requires the appropriate emotional and mental support. The comprehension of another person’s feelings and viewpoint is not foreign to him. He retains the capacity to deftly identify and recognize an individual’s emotional state. He doesn’t try to fix anything. He simply attempts to understand, to relate, to listen. Case in point: Late last year, there was a death on my wife’s side of the family, and as her husband, I had to be her rock. As the funeral home was preparing the casket to be lowered into the ground, my wife noticed a few smudges on the exterior, most likely from the hands of the pallbearers. Nonetheless, it bothered her.

Given I had experienced the death of a grandparent myself, I completely understood how the smallest thing could be magnified exponentially. It didn’t matter what I thought. It didn’t matter what the person next to my wife thought. The only thing that mattered was the smudge. Quietly, I removed my cotton handkerchief from my jacket, excused myself from my wife’s side, and I began to wipe away the errant fingerprints from the casket. Being a man…you simply do what needs to be done. Period. That day was about support. It was about understanding my wife’s grief and doing what I could to lightly assuage her pain, even if it was only wiping away a smudge. That day I was her husband. I was her comforter. I was her man.

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