In the wake of women fighting for equal rights, and marching on Washington, D.C. to change policies, the question of equality among parents remains. Are men just as capable in their parenting skills as women? The question arises not to cast doubt on a father’s ability, but rather to gauge whether or not they are equal in ability to mothers.
Mothers have long been seen as the nurturers. It is typical for mothers to multi-task in order to attempt to get many things done in a day. Today’s mother wears many hats including wife, mother, and employee, among others. Many mothers work outside the home full-time and then come home to their other “job” as parent. Some may even run their own businesses at home and have the burden of keeping the house, and tending to the kids, in addition to being self-employed.
It is typically the mother who is expected to have it all, and that usually means doing it all. However, today’s father is taking a more active role in parenting children. Researcher Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, Professor of Human Sciences and Psychology at Ohio State University, suggests that there are key areas in which equality in parenting has yet to be achieved.
She noted that fathers have increased their time spent with the children weekly over the years. Back in 1965, fathers only typically spent about 2.5 hours per week with their children. Time spent increased to seven hours in 2011. Meanwhile, mothers have also increased their spending time with the kids. Mothers went from 10 hours in 1965, to 14 hours in 2011.
Schoppe-Sullivan’s research showed that mothers experience more pressure when it comes to parenting. She advises women tend to concede to an ideal of what they should be like as a mom. Therefore, there is a sense of pressure that mothers feel that fathers do not relate to. This could be because she is looking at her own mother or guardian as a role model and hoping she measures up to that same standard.
Tom Bass, Clinical Director of Family Services at Winnetka-Northfield advises that parents should take care to learn their individual parenting styles, and accept and respect one another’s differences. Communication is key in any family whether married or divorced.
Mothers and fathers may never be 100 percent equal in their parenting skills. Perhaps we should not expect to be as we are wired differently. However, if the two parents are willing to come together united in one purpose with one common goal, they will be successful in reaching their goal and will raise healthy, well-adjusted children.
What steps do you take to ensure you reach the goal of raising healthy children? Let’s discuss here or on Twitter: @lcarterwriter.