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Millennials are struggling to be the dads they thought they'd be. This study shows why.

American work policies are making it harder for young fathers to "have it all."

Millennials are struggling to be the dads they thought they'd be. This study shows why.

Young men today grew up planning to "have it all."

The fulfilling job...

Millennials have been found to care more about having a job that both pays the bills and has an impact.


...the satisfying, equal partnership...

Millennials have the most feminist generation of men yet. They are a lot more equal in their beliefs about family and gender roles and want to be a true equal in every aspect of their relationships.

...and the ability to be a present father.

Part of their more egalitarian beliefs stems in the desire to be active participants in raising their children.

Image via PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay.

But now that they're working fathers, they're finding it a lot harder to do than they thought.

A recent study published in the American Sociological Review found that work policies are behind the change in millennial men's attitudes about family and gender roles once they have children. Despite having the best intentions, they struggled to maintain the equal partnership when they had to balance career, parenting, and love.

If only it were as easy as making this ponytail. GIF from " The perfect ponytail in 5 seconds."

It turns out that a dose of the real world made them change what they expected from their relationships almost entirely.

The Families and Work Institute found that before they have children, only 35% of millennial men believed women should stay at home as caregivers while men should "bring home the bacon." Once they have kids, though, that number jumps to 53%.

OK, not this type of bacon, but you know what I mean. Photo by Didriks/Flickr.

It's not that working and having children suddenly makes men more sexist. Rather it's that millennials find that the workplace doesn't offer the flexibility that they need to reach their goals of having an equal partnership. So they make do with what they have and find that going the traditional route works better.

Why? Experts found that family-friendly work policies still skewed heavily toward women.

Young men might be more feminist, but their work policies are lagging a bit behind. While we often hear about maternity leave policies, paternity leave is far from the norm (about 10-15% of employers offer it paid). This is particularly depressing when we consider the United States often seems to rank last in global paid parental leave rankings. Even President Barack Obama has said we need to stop treating family leave as an issue only women care about in his 2015 State of the Union address.

And even when these policies are available to men, they are often are discouraged from using them.

Netflix's recent announcement to offer up to a year's parental leave (for men and women) is a great example of the kind of family-friendly policies we need across the board. But it isn't enough just to have a good policy on paper.

Men have reported facing stigma in the workplace when they did take the family-friendly options available to them. Mets player Daniel Murphy was infamously criticized for taking a three-day paternity leave. This makes it clear we need an attitude shift that doesn't judge men for doing what they believe is best for their families.

The fix is simple: We need policies — and attitudes — that empower fathers to be the men they want to be.

It isn't just great for the fathers' participation in child care and child development. It has economic benefits for family members as well. It sounds like everybody wins. And who wouldn't want that?

Pexels / Julia M Cameron
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In the last 20 years, the internet has become almost as essential as water or air. Every day, many of us wake up and check it for the news, sports, work, and social media. We log on from our phones, our computers, even our watches. It's a luxury so often taken for granted. With the COVID-19 pandemic, as many now work from home and children are going to school online, home access is a more critical service than ever before.

On the flip side, some 3.6 billion people live without affordable access to the internet. This digital divide — which has only widened over the past 20 years — has worsened wealth inequality within countries, divided developed and developing economies and intensified the global gender gap. It has allowed new billionaires to rise, and contributed to keeping billions of others in poverty.

In the US, lack of internet access at home prevents nearly one in five teens from finishing their homework. One third of households with school-age children and income below $30,000 don't have internet in their homes, with Black and Hispanic households particularly affected.

The United Nations is working to highlight the costs of the digital divide and to rapidly close it. In September 2019, for example, the UN's International Telecommunication Union and UNICEF launched Giga, an initiative aimed at connecting every school and every child to the internet by 2030.

Closing digital inequity gaps also remains a top priority for the UN Secretary-General. His office recently released a new Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The UN Foundation has been supporting both this work, and the High Level Panel on Digital Cooperation co-chaired by Melinda Gates and Jack Ma, which made a series of recommendations to ensure all people are connected, respected, and protected in the digital age. Civil society, technologists and communications companies, such as Verizon, played a critical role in informing those consultations. In addition, the UN Foundation houses the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), which advances digital inclusion through streamlining technology, unlocking markets and accelerating digitally enabled services as it works to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Individualism—at least the "I do what I want, when I want" idea—is the antithesis of what is needed to keep contagious disease under control. More than anything in my memory, the coronavirus pandemic has tested our nation's ability to put up a united front, and so far we are failing miserably.

I hear a lot of the same complaints from people who decry government mandates to wear a mask or governors' stay-at-home orders. We don't need a nanny state telling us what we can and can't do! This is tyranny! This is dictatorship! What ever happened to personal responsibility?

I actually have the same question. What did happen to personal responsibility?

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This year, we've all experienced a little more stress and anxiety. This is especially true for youth facing homelessness, like Megan and Lionel. Enter Covenant House, an international organization that helps transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway, and trafficked young people.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is Delivering Smiles this holiday season by donating essential items and fulfilling AmazonSmile Charity Lists for organizations, like Covenant House, that have been impacted this year more than ever. Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a charity of your choice or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

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Occasionally, you can hear what sounds like a real word or phrase here and there—"eyes" and "color balls died" and "alright" a few times, for example—but it mostly just sounds like English without actually being English. It's like an auditory illusion and it does some super trippy things to your brain to listen to it.

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via Becker1999 / Flickr and Price and Sons

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