The Parenting styles of mothers and fathers are very different. While being the two most important people in any child’s life the parents can have a varying influence on their offspring. The difference can be suggested as being gender based or merely temperamental. Whatever, the case that the differences exist cannot be argued. The parenting style has an influence in every sphere of a child’s life. From the peers relationships they have to the self confidence they establish. The socialization of the child is largely dependent on the individual parenting styles.
So what is so different between the father and the mother? Notably mothers are seen as more caring. This is the rule rather than the exception, though exceptions do exist. Mothers are more emotional and their interaction with the child is such that children usually take their discipline without much adversity. They are seen to be loving and open to communication. Fathers on the other hand are less openly affectionate, have more of an harshness to their tone are more firm in their discipline. Mothers are often more subjective in their judgments and thus more forgiving.
They protect their child more easily and are hard pressed to admit failure within a child’s attempt. Fathers usually balance this out by playing roughly, being more objective and pushing the child to do more. While the home situation in the current society is changing the traditional homes had the father as the primary caretaker. He came home after a long days work and wanted nothing more than peace and quiet. This meant that he was stricter with the children and most of the time spent was in discipline rather than interacting openly.
Communication was usually stilted and the main caretaker was the mother. Mothers acted as the go between as the father and child struggled to gain an understanding of each other. The father was seen as the quiet and loving man, who was harsh, not very indulgent and delved out the discipline. There has been a lot of criticism about the role of fathers. They are not emotional enough, they give their child too little support and they are at times to blunt in their dealings. Regardless, of these criticisms the fact is statistics suggest that fathers are extremely important to the family.
There parenting style may be different but it helps balance out the style presented by the mother consider that a child in a fatherless home is 20 times more likely to end up in prison and 14 times more likely to commit rape and 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders. [Brandenburg, 2007] Fathers have a different physical interaction with their children. Being more physical in their play they ‘toughen’ up the kids and show them how to play rough without getting hurt. Mothers are not usually ready to take the risk with their child.
Fathers will come home and throw their child in the air while the mother usually admonishes him to be careful. Fathers are the first love of any girl. The father serves as the role model for the daughter and a strong positive relationship with the father helps the girl have a better emotional relationship in the future. They also serve to control their son’s behavior in a better manner. Physically men are stronger than women and at a certain stage kids begin to understand this. That is why the mother loses control while the father acts as the barrier.
All youth go through rebellion and a father is simply better equipped to physically curtail the child, not through physical abuse rather through sheer presence. [Fraenkel, 2006] Mothers are caring and provide the safety net. Children know that no matter what the mother will always be there for them. They are the soothers and the ones who help the child through emotional problems through their simple presence. That both parents are necessary cannot be argued but how important is it for both the parents to be present to make an effective family?
Mothers in the past stayed at home and fathers went to work. The constant interaction with the child for the mother made her feel closer to the child. The mother associated her life with the child’s the world usually revolved around the child. Maybe that is why the parenting style of the mother was the way it was. Since fathers were away from the child’s daily routine they could be more objective and thus be seen as the authority figure. Today the scene has changed. The systematic breakdown of the traditional form of the family has changed the dynamics.
Mothers are working outside the home, they are not able to give as much time to the child as they would have been if they were born two decades ago. The mother who was seen as the caretaker has switched roles. The mother is today a person who is stretched to have quality time with the child. Single parent families further aggravate the situation. From being tolerant and lenient mothers have changed into being at times as strict as the fathers. In the past the mothers saw the world in respect to the kids but now they see the kids in contrast to the world.
Where fathers were the blunt one’s preparing the kids for the real world, today mothers do the same. However, no matter how much things have changed, the differences remain. Mothers are still too soft for the good of the kids, at least in normal circumstances. Women are naturally more communicative and open about their emotions. They find it easy to tell their child they love him throughout the day. They feel no hesitation in giving hugs and kisses regardless of the child’s age. Fathers as men are more reluctant to be the same way.
Though the ‘sensitive’ man is the phrase of the decade the fact is fathers are less likely to tell their adolescent child they love them. Physically and emotionally they distance themselves from the child naturally when the child reaches adolescences. That is where the main communication gap emerges. Women still reach out, men never force the issue. Mothers and fathers are naturally and genetically different, they respond to their child as man and woman and the difference between the two sexes can largely determine the difference between mothers and fathers. [Peters, Peterson et al, 2000]
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