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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Parental Relationships > Do Fathers and Mothers Play Different Parenting Roles?

Do Fathers and Mothers Play Different Parenting Roles?

Although, fathers and mothers have different roles to play while raising a child, both the roles are equally important. Here we have discussed how mothers and fathers play distinct but important roles while raising well-balanced, happy and successful children.

Though society in general is moving towards a more homogenized tolerant form, gender specific roles still exist. Nowhere is the gender difference more pronounced than in the arena of parenting, though mothers may sometimes play the roles of fathers and vice versa there are definite differences in the parenting styles of both and the expectations of the society from each parent.

Protector vs. Nurturer

A father is expected to provide for the family, take care of the majority of the financial burden and provide for his wife and kids in the best possible way. For thousands of years society has perceived the worth of a man based on how well he can shield his dependants from unforeseen circumstances. A father is more aware of eminent danger and acts instinctively to keep his child out of harm’s way.

The mother is a nurturer who slowly and painstakingly caters to every need of her child. It is seen that a mother senses out the unspoken needs of her child even when the child is unable to express them. The perceived and expected role of a mother in parenting is to be a life giver, care giver and nurturer.

Differing Attitudes towards Discipline

The differing role of mothers and fathers to parenting is apparent in the way they approach the subject of discipline. Usually the father takes on the role of a discipline enforcer who makes sure that punitive action and corrective disciplinary measures are taken. This is all the more evident when the offspring is male in which case fathers tend to be strict.

Mothers on the other hand play the role of a counsellor, doubt solver and explainer. The mother tries her best to verbally and emotionally motivate her kids to take the desired course of action. Mostly mothers are also seen using sentences like “wait till your dad comes home and hears of this” to project the father as an ultimate disciplinarian.

House Builder vs. Home Maker

The father is expected to provide for the basic necessities of his family like food, shelter, education and other amenities. In case the child is deprived of material comfort in any way the father is indirectly blamed by peers, extended family members and the society in general. The socio cultural framework motivates children to look upon their father as a source of material comfort.

Children mostly look upon their mother as a confidante, sharer and a source of love and devotion who makes sure that their emotional and personal needs are taken care of. If there is a flaw in the upbringing of the child then the mother is generally held responsible.

Initiator vs. Motivator

In most families the father plays the role of initiator where most new activities are initiated by him. Sentences like “let’s discuss about your pocket money budget” or “let us go out and get dinner” are spoken by the father and children seem to expect new information or initiative from their father.

The mother generally acts as a motivator who supports her husband in the new initiatives and makes sure that all the new actions are taken in a positive spirit by children.

Physical vs. Mental Development

A father is mostly the one more interested in the physical development of children. The father is seen roughing it out with the children and participating in games like football, basket ball, cricket with the kids.

The mother usually listens to the problems, concerns and worries of her children and contributes majorly to the mental development.

The differing roles of the mother and father in parenting are not rigid and experience considerable overlap especially in the modern context. The roles are complementary and the successful partnership of both makes for a healthy and happy child.

What is the importance of equal involvement of both the parents in the upbringing of a child? How is the development of a child affected if either of parents is uninvolved in parenting?  Discuss here.

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Abhishek.8 months ago
Mother and Father are two important pillars of a child's life. If one of the pillar collapses, child's life will also suffer. Therefore, roles of both mothers and fathers are important.
Ishika.8 months ago
I agree with you Abhishek, for a child his parents are his world, so both the parents are important for his overall development.
Amish.8 months ago
Role of a father as well as a mother is very important for good upbringing of children.
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