Parenting has changed in the last couple of decades since I became a dad, and it has certainly evolved a great deal since the 1840s when I was a boy.

And bravo to this dad who offers some empowering and encouraging words to his young sons after a trip to the toy store.

It all started with a birthday, when the older son, Azai, received two of the exact same present. So the three guys headed to the toy store to trade one of the duplicates for another toy. When it's revealed that Azai's choice is a mermaid, it presents as a surprise to the YouTube audience. But Dad isn't shocked - and wholeheartedly supports his son's choice.

"Many are asking me, 'how did you feel the moment Azai chose that doll?' The honest answer is, it didn't surprise me at all. Azai is equally fascinated by princesses and robots. One moment he's all boy, the next he's expressing a softer, more angelic side. For me this behavior rings more authentic than playing one note all the time. That said, I did have a little reaction to Azai choosing that particular doll. When I saw the collection it was part of, and didn't see much in the way of variety of skin colors or body types, I had to resist my urge to say, 'Why don't we chose a more realistic doll.' I don't want my boys to adapt to the programming that a women should be built like a Barbie. I said, 'Let's look at all the dolls in the store first, then you can decide.' He was clear, "I want this mermaid.' I backed off knowing this would be the catalyst for us to have a powerful conversation about the beauty of body-types and racial equality."

Excellent parenting, dude!

What do you think?