Fathers Say They’ve Been Criticized For How they Raise their Kids

Not just moms face criticism for the way they raise their children. Many fathers also say that they’ve been criticized for how they raise their kids. According to a new survey, most fathers are in the same situation—and the child’s other parent is frequently to blame.

There is a lot of evidence that mom-shaming exists. Shaming is a painful reality that seems to occur far too frequently, from women who are criticized for feeding their newborns formula instead of breast milk to those who strangers reprimand for their child’s behavior in public. New research, however, shows that mothers are not the only ones who face criticism for their parenting choices.

In time for Father’s Day, a new survey from C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital surveyed dads with kids up to 13 years old in the United States “how they see being criticized for their parenting style.” According to the results, 52% of fathers say they’ve received criticism for how they raise their children. Whoa!

Forty-four percent of the criticism comes from their child’s other parent and not from strangers. It’s logical, as being criticized increases when you spend a lot of time with the same person. On the other hand, dads may be particularly affected by this because it undermines the idea that parents function as a unit. In the poll, over a quarter of dads reported feeling less confident because of the criticism, and one-fifth reported wanting to be “less involved as a parent.”

There are other sources of criticism that come from those who know the child, such as the father’s friends, strangers (in public or online), teachers, and doctors. The latter could be “connected to historical gender norms when moms were believed to be the caretakers and men were assumed to be the breadwinners.” Criticism of how parents discipline their children and the food they feed their children were the two most common topics of concern.

Other sources of criticism come from those who know the child, such as the father’s friends, strangers (in public or online), teachers, and doctors. For the latter, it may be “connected to historical gender norms, where women were believed to be caretakers and fathers were assumed to be breadwinners.” Dads’ disciplining methods and the food they serve their children were the two most frequently criticized aspects of parenting.

Despite this, there were parallels between the two investigations. Mothers made up the vast majority of those who questioned their parenting (61 percent), and the other parent made up a sizable portion of those who did not complain (36 percent). Moms were criticized the most for their children’s lack of self-control and self-control.

Good news: Clark was surprised to find that many fathers respond favorably to criticism. So many fathers admitted that they either sought out more information or altered their behavior in response to criticism. That’s a great sign. There are methods to criticize fathers without making them defensive or withdrawing from their child’s health and well-being.

In addition, 90% of men agree that most fathers do an excellent job taking care of their children. You guys are doing a fantastic job, Dads!

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