Parenting

Should Parenting Be Divided By Gender?

Hey, doll! What have you been up to? I truly hope you are enjoying yourself perhaps even reading a great book and if you are, share the title, I'll take a look. On my drive home from work the other day I turn on the radio and the topic was who should discipline their daughter, the mother or the father?

I automatically said both and to my surprise, the callers actually said the opposite. Most said that discipline should be divided by gender, the father's should discipline their sons and the mother's their daughters. The radio story touched on research that shows that since fathers are the first male role models little girls see, to have them for example, spank them would cause irreversible damage in the future. I am admitting that my eyes rolled so far back that I just started talking out loud but soon stopped myself and decided to talk with you instead. What do you think?

Here's my perspective.

First, the research is assuming you are raised in a two parent household and second, that is pure BS. The point of raising a family if you have a partner is to do so together. Unity is the goal in a family, not divide.

Sure if the father is present I agree that he should be the protector, somewhat of the bigger leader in the family. But I don't agree that the mother is any less of a leader, I believe she should just lead in a different way. Both parents need to be in sync in order for the household to run as smoothly as possible.

When you put more responsibility on one over the other it causes tension and stress. When your children see divide they begin to lose respect for their parent's authority and as time passes brings more discipline problems as they mature. The idea of one parent, the father's word being the last word, is old thinking.

In today's society where women also work and sometimes even make more money than their partners and/or perhaps are single parents and run a whole household it is not realistic to encourage such a parenting divide.

I do believe though certain topics that come up in our parenting journey are cringe worthy. For example; a male friend of mine just shared with me how his three year old has noticed the difference in his penis. How it goes from erect which he calls big, to non-erect which he calls little. I found it both funny and an eye covering moment because geez, he is three years old. But as parents, our responsibility is to learn if we don't know so that we can guide in the right direction. So if it means dad has to read up on some girly stuff so be it and vice versa for mom. Just because we may not like a particular topic doesn't mean we get a free pass to ignore it.

Getting back to the spanking and how a father spanking his daughter will traumatize her, any spanking done by any parent or anyone will leave uncomfortable memories period. I never recall my mom's spankings with a smile or gratitude and it wasn't from my father. In the end, it is all the same.

I feel it would be best to invest time in research that promotes options for parents. Not research that is catered to one specific way, but instead encourages several ways that bring about positive results. Parenting is not one size fits all. Families come in all sizes and styles. To say one is better than is a disservice.

Should parenting be divided by gender I ask again, what do you think? Divide or Unity? Share your thoughts and/or experiences.

Always stress-free xo,

Mari

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Mommywood is a Parenting and LIfestyle blog that encourages Stress free and Mindful living through Empowerment, Motivation and Inspiration.