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Many parents would say that they tend to deal with the children in the same way - they reward, discipline and treat the children equally, but there are differences between the way a mother or father cares for and looks after children. That is not to say that one is wrong and one it right, just that it is different.
Here are a few distinguishing characteristics of the mother/father parenting that you might recognise.
- Fathers tend to be more physical and play in a more unpredictable way. They enjoy teasing and chasing and being active with the children. Mums tend to be a bit more creative when you play thinking about things and developing ideas that your children may have.
- Mums know when to stop, sensing that things are getting out of hand. Dad may keep going, getting more and more excited with the kids and this may end in tears!
- Mums tend to intervene earlier when their children are doing something new or something that may be tricky. They will climb the ladder to help the toddler across and will tell the pre-schooler to get down before she falls. Dads tend to hang back a bit and let them explore.
- Dads discipline in a different way usually. They tend to look at the bigger picture and focus on the dangers in the situation rather than Mum who tends to see misbehaviour as being let down or a loss of trust.
Interesting things to think about and further evidence that a bit of both types of parenting is a good thing!