The parenting role for a mum has always differed to that of the father, but I wanted to explore more and ask the question why the mum is often the one that children turn to in times of blame?
I know that when I was little, my mum was always the one to blame. It didn’t matter what we did, the finger was always pointing in her direction. My mum disciplined us, but looking back, I know all of this goes deeper than my mother being a mum and my father being a father. Psychologically and emotionally they were expected to fit into their gender roles, with my mother having the biggest role.
The problem is that different rules seem to apply to mothers and fathers. The mum is usually the one who is penalised if she deems fit to make different discipline choices; whereas the father is usually the one who participates at his own discretion, then steps back without incurring severe penalties to himself.
Although no mother or father is ever fully prepared for being a parent, the success of a child has always been based around the mother, as is the finger of guilt when something goes wrong, regardless of what input their father gives.
When girls are small, they are encouraged to nurture, they are encouraged to care and are encouraged to be responsive. Boys are encouraged to be tough. But my belief is that even if boys are encouraged to nurture their instinct is to do the opposite.
Mums are groomed to believe that the success of their children lie on their shoulders and it is for that reason that women accept full responsibility for how their children turn out. I also believe there are fewer expectations on the father, which means their personalities are left intact once their children are grown and have flown the nest.
My own personal view is that just because men are not encouraged to discipline children in the same way women are, doesn’t mean that they cannot discipline that way. I know men can be responsive; attentive, supportive, there is nowhere in the rule books that say they can’t.
I believe men, but not all men are happy to leave their wives to do all the disciplining.