Parenting roles

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.


10 Jun, 2011

6 thoughts on “Parenting roles

  1. I think your description of roles is very accurate indeed, although not all men act in that way.

    I firmly believe in sharing parenting responsibilities but whether our children see that, is another matter.

    1. I agree that not all men behave in this way.

      I think children in general take what they want from their relationship with their parents regardless of what we contribute, right or wrongly.

  2. When I was growing up my father did the disciplining.

    My parents shared the responsibilities of all the other things. I think in the beginning it was the mother who was in charge of the training; nurturing and caring for the family. The father was the bread winner, but of course that was before women joined the work force and all the responsibilities were then shared or attempted to be shared.

    What isn’t fair to me is that the mother is expected to have a job and then come home and have her work at home, but nothing has changed for the father. He goes out and works and comes home and doesn’t do anything but rest up for the next day of work.

    When it comes to my daughter, her dad has been blamed for a lot of the way she acts. They say, “she is just like her dad,” but I do get blamed for some of the way she is.

    I don’t think my parents were blamed for anything pertaining to us; except mom says I’m just like my father in some respects, but there is no blame.

    1. When I was growing up in the 60’s, a lot of the disciplining fell on the mother. My father didn’t include himself in the disciplining, as he solely left that to my mother.

      I do agree that more women are now choosing to work and that some of the responsibilities are shared, but I still think and have seen from those around me that the mum’s still do the majority of the disciplining.

      I think father’s are easier in that respect, they are happier to go with what their children want, rather than have to work through any debates.

  3. I think much of what you say here is true.

    Not being a father I cannot comment on parenting, I can only observe how other people do it. Not an easy job raising kids.

    I know my brother and his wife have raised their kids very differently, than my parents did with us. Times have changed.

    1. Randy I completely agree with you. Times have changed and so have attitudes. I also agree with what you say about raising Kids, it’s not an easy job.

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