I think we might be able to agree that one of the stereotypical roles of the man in a family is protection. We don’t have to physically protect our families so much these days (I don’t have to beat up the bad guys very often, all of the cave bears are extinct, I believe, and we’ve managed to pretty much wipe out the wolves and mountain lions).
So unless you can count those instances when things go bump in the night and we’re called upon to investigate, it may be just a symbolic role.
But what about protecting our families from things in the environment, such as toxic chemicals in our food, water, personal care and household cleaners? By the way, when it comes to household cleaners I use OdorKlenz. That’s pretty manly.
I think keeping the family safe in that way qualifies as defending the family. It’s strange to me how few men are concerned with keeping their kids safe from substances that could affect their health for the rest of their lives, when so many moms are adamant about it. Perhaps it’s the stereotype of men being tougher than women, or the (mistaken) idea that the woman (the mom) should be solely responsible for the health of the children. Whatever the reason, I rarely see any dads blogging about or talking to others about the issue.
So when I was asked if I would become a Parent Ambassador for Healthy Child Healthy World, I felt that I really ought to ‘man up’ and be involved. Because it isn’t only up to the moms. Fathers are also role models and defenders of kids, and we ought to know about the things that may affect our children and do what we can to keep them safe.
If you don’t already know about Healthy Child Healthy World, it’s a non-profit which inspires parents to protect their young children from harmful chemicals, both outside and inside the home.
“We are leading a movement that educates parents, supports protective policies, and engages communities to make responsible decisions, simple everyday choices, and well-informed lifestyle improvements to create healthy environments where children and families can flourish.
Healthy Child Healthy World exists because more than 125 million Americans, especially children, now face an historically unprecedented rise in chronic disease and illness such as cancer, autism, asthma, birth defects, ADD / ADHD, and learning and developmental disabilities. Credible scientific evidence increasingly points to environmental hazards and household chemicals as causing and contributing to many of these diseases.”
The original request to be a Parent Ambassador said that they wanted input from us to guide their programs and outreach to better serve parents and engage them online. My first thought was that it’s not my place as a dad blogger (or papa blogger, to be more accurate) to enter the world of (mostly) mama bloggers in these efforts. But my second thought was that yes, it is well within my role as defender of my family, and that I might just possibly have something to add from a father’s point of view.
So what can you do to get involved and learn more?
- Follow @Healthy_Child on Twitter
- Participate in the Thursday #HealthyChild Twitter chats (and possibly win some free goodies!)
- Become a Fan on Facebook
- Read (and subscribe to) the Healthy Child Healthy World blog.
- Check out the 5 Easy Steps you can take in your home
- Read the Healthy Child Healthy World book
- Download the free Pocket Guides to refer to when shopping
- Take steps from Erin Brockovich’s Action Kit
I’m proud to be a defender of the children, a Parent Ambassador, and I’ll keep sharing the great information I learn from Healthy Child with you here on Natural Papa.