News / Utah / 
Website helps dads to fight against 'absentee' or 'deadbeat' stigma

Courtesy The Daily Dad

Website helps dads to fight against 'absentee' or 'deadbeat' stigma

By Sara Jarman | Posted - May 27, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.


7 photos

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

DRAPER — Changing the cultural dialogue about fathers is something that dads Chase Walker and Nathan Robbins have dedicated their lives to. Their website The Daily Dad, which celebrates the role of fathers and serves as an educational resource, recently launched this past Saturday.

“We recognized the absence of a healthy dialogue about dads in the media, and that is why myself and Nathan started this,” Walker said. “We have all these pejorative terms for dads like deadbeat dad or absentee dad, and we are trying to buck those stereotypes by really showing them that those are not really representative of the vast majority of dads out there.”

The genesis of The Daily Dad began at a playdate that Walker, a full-time lawyer and Robbins, a BYU graduate student, organized for their children. Walker, also a recent single dad at the time, and Robbins were lamenting about the lack of resources for fathers in the digital age. So both dads started brainstorming.

“We were commenting about how there was this overabundance, it seemed like, of resources and media outlets that were geared for and run by moms, and that for dads there was really a noticeable void,” Walker stated. “We want to celebrate them by giving a space out there to dads who are doing their best.”

Walker underscores that this isn’t an “anti-mom organization,” and doesn’t want patrons to think their message is about men replacing the role and influence of a mother, but rather wants it to be a tool, reminding mothers and fathers that both parents deserve an equal seat at the table when it comes to parenting.

“For a long time I think men have been marginalized in that conversation — culturally, legally and in other ways — pigeonholing them to characters like Phil Dunphy, a Modern Family-esque dad that you would not ever trust with a serious issue,” Walker said.

Founders Nathan Robbins and Chase Walker. (The Daily Dad)
Founders Nathan Robbins and Chase Walker. (The Daily Dad)

Crafting a platform that both celebrates and helps dads then is what the pair went to work on next. The duo launched their iDad campaign on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and [Instagram,](<https://instagram.com/thedailydad/ Instagram —>) which is where the primary source of their online engagement occurs.

“The iDad campaign is where you put #iDad on photos — tagging pictures of dads doing dad things — just being a parent and being involved with their kids,” Walker said.

So far they have had thousands of photos tagged with #iDad, generating positive content about fatherhood and dads.

“Earlier this week we put out something as simple “as tag a great dad” and wrote in the comment section: ‘Sometimes dads just need to be reminded that they are doing a great job, so tag a dad,’ we had 150 comments with several hundred tags from dads all over the world,” Walker said. “It was really cool to watch this dynamic of people tag a whole bunch of people, and then comment back, ‘gosh thank you so much for tagging me, you know, I think that you are really a great dad too.’ ”

Walker said that the website’s goal isn’t necessarily to promote a dad’s efforts in a grandiose way, but rather make inroads into a cultural space that hasn’t really been carved out — a place where all fathers can see that their efforts are recognized.

Another section of the website is dedicated to providing several resources and help for dads. Under the tab Dadvice, dads can scan topics ranging from how to talk to your child about sex to what you should pack in a diaper bag.


For a long time I think men have been marginalized in that conversation &mdash; culturally, legally and in other ways &mdash; pigeonholing them to characters like Phil Dunphy, a Modern Family-esque dad that you would not ever trust with a serious issue.

–Chase Walker, co-founder of The Daily Dad


“When you are someone like me, who became a single dad young and you have to go to the store and stare at an aisle full of stuff, and figure out what you really need — you feel pretty helpless. So, for example, we thought we would write an article about that that says, ‘hey, here are a bunch of ideas and things to put in a diaper bag,’ ” Walker commented.

The process of creating and launching the website has been nothing short of a Herculean effort, Walker said. Figuring out exactly what and how to communicate their particular message was a week-to-week, month-to-month journey. Walker is thrilled that his efforts are starting to pay off, though, receiving hundreds of photos and stories now being sent to his email.

“For example, we had someone who wrote about what it was like to hold his kid for the first time and how his life changed. We also have people who write about the struggles they have had with their adult children, and how they are still dads to them,” Walker said.

Walker notes that the popular response to the iDad campaign hasn’t elicited responses from a specific demographic or socioeconomic class — which surprised both founders.

“We thought that we would see a demographic that would respond more to our message than others, maybe a sociologically group who would be more invested in fatherhood, but we are not seeing that. We are seeing fathers across the globe, people of all ethnicities, races, all socioeconomic classes, people that are single, divorced people, stepdads, dads that have one kid and parents who have five or more kids,” Walker said.

It is a misnomer to assume that one group of dads is necessarily more involved with their children, Walker said. Being a dad is a universal ambition — maybe not with all men, of course — but with the vast majority of men irrespective of classification, being a dad is an important role, even while cultural messages indicate the contrary.

Photos

Related Links

Sara Jarman

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast