At the park, who is the one saying “Do you want to swing higher”? And who is the one saying “Be careful!”?
Fathers parent differently. Moms often protect and dads often encourage kids to push limits. Combining both mom and dad parenting styles can be a positive experience for young children. Children grow up in a safe environment while they are being challenged to explore. Children can tell the difference between mom and dad’s styles of parenting through their attention to interaction. That difference is important and helpful for children’s understanding of differences in life and for their development in learning how to navigate people and situations later in life when there are contrasting ideas and complicate communication.
Here are some contrasts that psychologists and educators have noticed over time; and why Dads are so important:
- Dads help built confidence in different way
- Dealing with frustration
- Playing “rough”
1. Dads help built confidence in different way
By encouraging sports and pushing limits, children can learn about practicing and achieving goals. They also learn about teamwork and interaction with peers. Dads often introduce adventures and independence, which can teach a lot about building confidence in dealing with new situations.
Dad’s discipline is different than mom’s discipline. The “enough is enough” way that many dads discipline teaches consequences. Children learn what is acceptable and what is not. Dads have been observed to be more consistent, decisive and calm than moms.
3. Dealing with frustration
Moms tend to react more immediately towards frustration. Dads may not interfere as quickly, which promotes problem-solving skills.
Fathers usually don’t change the way they talk to facilitate communication with their children. While moms usually do change their speaking style in order to get the child to immediately understand what she is saying. So, dad’s way of talking help children to develop language skills and expand their vocabulary.
5. Playing “rough”
Dads play differently. Tumble play, scary monster, tickles… These activities help a child to develop a sense of self. They also help managing emotions, thinking and physical action. While playing with dad, dad may not alter the game for the child to win. Children know and understand that, so they really concentrate to try in order to defeat the adult in the game. They learn about the work of achievement and that you don’t win every time.
Dads boost children’s development intellectually and socially. Dads can model how to be a good partner, and they can also provide a beneficial male influence. Having a father-daughter bond with a child helps her grow independent and confident. Having a father-son bond helps a son to have a respectable male influence, and can help with awareness of feelings and emotions. A combination of mother and father’s parenting styles make children understand both worlds, the nurturing and the adventurous, the safe and the exploratory. Fathers are not just another adult in the house, they bring positive benefits that no other person can bring!
We celebrated Dads and Father’s Day in our Toddler Group here at ECDA. Daddies had quality “special time” with their little ones and we loved to see the contrasting parenting styles as they played together. We also enjoyed watching the positive Daddy-Child bond!
Written by: Marilee Hartling & Paula Boscardin