Not just mothers, a lot of fathers are also shamed. According to a new survey, nearly half of American dads said they were criticised for their parenting styles.
As per the findings, the way these fathers were disciplining their child topped the list of things naysayers called them to task on, with two-thirds of critiques focused on that subject. And nearly 44 per cent of the times, the criticism came from a family member, especially the other child-rearing partner.
Survey co-director Sarah Clark, University of Michigan, was quoted as saying, “Addressing a child’s misbehaviour is one of the greatest challenges of parenting, and parents aren’t always on the same page when it comes to expectations and consequences.”
Parenting differences between the child-rearing partners is an oft-seen challenge. This inconsistency, according to Clark, can send mixed messages to the child and result in conflict and criticism between parents.
The other reason fathers were criticised, as per the survey, was the food they gave their kids, accounting for 40 per cent of the critiques.
About one-third of fathers said they were judged for not paying enough attention to the child, and for dad-child playtime which critics believed could get too rough.
Other issues included how a dad’s parenting style impacted the child’s sleeping habits, safety and overall appearance.
These judgements or criticism undermined parental confidence of at least one-quarter of the dads surveyed. 20 per cent of them said they felt discouraged to engage more with parenting.
“While some fathers say criticism prompts them to seek more information about good parenting practices, too much disparagement may cause dads to feel demoralised about their parental role,” Clark explained.
The survey came from CS Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health and the analysis was drawn from data obtained from 713 fathers of kids up to the age of 13.