If you’ve ever watched Mike Huckabee as host of Huckabee with Mike Huckabee on Fox News Channel or seen him anywhere–on an interview, speaking engagement or in a debate–you know he’s not one to mince words.
The former governor of Arkansas, candidate for president in 2008 (and potentially again in 2016), husband to wife Janet and dad of three–John Mark, David and Sarah–has stuff to say about fatherhood.
So we wanted to get his take on the extraordinary attention dads are getting this year from mainstream media and on the web.
The Daily Beast even asked in a recent headline: “Is 2014 ‘Year of the Dad’?”
“Sure, Father’s Day is coming up—but it seems like the ‘other parent’ is getting more than just a day this year,” writes The Daily Beast. “Dads are the focus of not only TV shows and books, but also policy making and scientific study.”
Though Huckabee hopes the love affair with fatherhood will last, he’s skeptical.
“It’s noteworthy that there are these acknowledgements,” Huckabee says. “I hope it’s sincere and more permanent and not something that they’re going run out of topics to put on the cover. It’s important to explain as a culture the value of fathers.”
He says fathers are invaluable to a family–just as important as mothers.
He says dads who are clock-watchers around their kids are short-changing themselves and their children.
“When I hear fathers say, ‘Well I’m really busy. I spend ‘quality’ time with children’ that is such an absolute ridiculous excuse and it’s just not true,” Huckabee tells Daddyhood. “There’s no such thing as being able to designate ‘I’ve only got 45 minutes. We are going to make this a great 45 minutes.’
“It’s not what you sit down and tell your kids. It’s what your kids are able to see in you and observe. And if he’s not with you, he doesn’t see all your roles and responsibilities. Going to the ball game together when you are simply focusing on the ball game, that doesn’t do it when it comes to teaching children about what life is about. Great dads are involved!”
Though surveys, like the one just conducted by NBC News’ TODAY show that shows by and large dads today are generally more involved and hands-on with their kids, Huckabee acknowledges he’s seeing it too–and salutes it.
“The more involvement that a dad can have with his children I think that is very healthy because they need to see him as more than somebody who can write a check,” says Huckabee. He is somebody who can provide emotional support to their mother, provides extensive leadership and direction for the family and helps the child, whether the child is a boy or the child is girl.”
Dads are vital role models for their children–both boys and girls.
“She will grow up and think of the men in her future in the manner in which her father acted toward her,” says Huckabee. “If her father treats her with respect, and treats her as someone who represents a real treasure, and would never abuse her verbally or physically then that’s the expectations she has for guys that one day she will have a relationship with. and she’s going to judge them by that standard.”