The parenting role for a mum has always differed to that of a father, but I wanted to explore why it seems to be the mum 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 pointed in her direction, like she’d done something wrong. Yes, my mum disciplined, but all of this goes deeper.
Society, sadly stereotype parenting roles. Psychologically and emotionally my parents were both expected to fit into their gender roles, with my mother having the biggest role. But different rules seem to apply to each parent. The mum seems to be the one who is penalised if she just disciplines, whereas the dad is the one who participates at his own discretion, then steps back without incurring severe penalties to himself.
Although we’re never 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 the 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 will always be to do the opposite. I also believe that when men become fathers, there are fewer expectations on them, which means their personalities are left intact once their children are grown and have flown the nest.
I believe that just because men are not encouraged to discipline children in the same way women are, doesn’t mean that they cannot discipline and shouldn’t discipline. I think it depends on the person, but I believe men can also be responsive, attentive, supportive. There is nowhere in the rule books that say they can’t. Perhaps it’s a generation and upbringing thing.
I also believe men, but not all men are happy to leave their wives to do all the disciplining. Some are happy to share the parenting role.