It’s no secret that Moms and Dads parent differently. But is one approach better than the other? Therapist, Julie Hanks, says children benefit from both parenting styles but moms could learn a few lessons from dads.
1) Be flexible and fun
Men tend to approach physical care of their children with a more relaxed attitude often leading to a more fun and playful parenting experience. Fathers don’t get as upset if the kids are in bed an hour after “bed time” or if they skip nightly bath time every once in a while.
Women can learn to loosen up on rules in the name of fun.
2) Expect child to listen the first time
When Dad’s ask for their child to do something, they expect more immediate compliance and lose their patience quickly. Moms often wear themselves out trying to be a “nice” parent.
Moms can learn to hold their ground and not ask a child to do something 20 times before there are consequences.
3) Keep it simple
When planning events like family outings, birthday parties, or even packing lunch, mom’s tend to set high expectations and get overwhelmed by the details. Dads are generally better at seeing the “big picture” and focusing on the necessities.
Women can learn to minimize stress by focusing on the basics instead of being overwhelmed by details.
4) Move on after making mistakes
Dads seem to be better at moving on and not feeling guilty for imperfections like missing the deadline for a sporting event sign up or forgetting to take their child to a birthday party. Men also tend to care less what other parents are thinking about them.
Women can learn to skip self-loathing and guilt trips and quickly move on after making parenting mistakes.
5) See your child as separate
If a child throws a tantrum in a restaurant, forgets to do their homework, or misbehaves at school dads generally don’t blame themselves, feel a failure, or ruminate about it for days.
Women can learn from men not to take their child’s behavior too personally.
6) Don’t give in to whining
Dads are generally better at holding their ground when they say “no” to their child’s request to buy a toy at the store, or go play with a friend before doing homework, for example.
Women can learn from men to stand their ground and not change their mind just because a child is upset.