Parenting: Fathers, Mothers and their Children By Mercy Karumba

Have you ever asked a kid,”Brenda, are you mum's or dad’s kid?” Whoever they mention, dad or mum will dictate who is their...

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Have you ever asked a kid,”Brenda, are you mum’s or dad’s kid?” Whoever they mention, dad or mum will dictate who is their favourite parent. Who doesn’t want to be the parent the kid loves and feels safe with?

Parenting is such a huge and important role to play. The role of a mother or father can never be replaced or shortchanged.Some of us adore babies however, the thought of being called mom or dad is just scary. Raising children is indeed the most rewarding job, but one which carries a lot of responsibility and sadly, no one size fits all, when it comes to which skills and techniques to apply.

Mothers are known to be natural nurturers of children, and they take on, more of the caring role.  I think this explains why women end up concentrating too much on a new-born and often neglecting the hubby which should not be the case. He ends up feeling neglected which could lead to his withdrawal and in turn, resentment towards the child. Mums can get possessive, but I think this is the right time to ensure the bond between the baby and the dad and make him feel part of the whole experience as well.

It is worth noting that fathers and mothers have different parenting styles: Mothers tend to be extremely caring and worried about the well-being of the child. Fathers, on the other hand, show tough love, through experiential learning. Mum will say, “If you are feeling too tired or you feel you cannot do this anymore, it’s okay, just let go, I still love you.”Dad, on the other hand, will say,”I know it’s tough to hold on but keep going son know you can do this and I am here with you, cheering you on.”You see, both are loving parents handling the same situation but very differently.

I recently learnt that a child should be disciplined as early as 9 months. Training is not limited to canning, but simple aspects such as learning to say “no “when you should and giving the child what they need not what they want all the time. Are mothers good disciplinarians or should the disciplinary role be assigned to the father? I would say both. As we stated, parenting styles vary with gender and so to, do discipline methods, and the child needs both if both parents are present.

It is quite important to understand the gender differences when it comes to parenting. This avoids situations where one feels the other is being too hard on the child or siding too much with the child. Negotiation, supporting each other and speaking out on values helps to maintain the teamwork involved in parenting. What is your romantic partner’s parenting style? Work together to complement each other and make the parenting experience worth the while.

All the best in your parenting journey or as you prepare to board the parenting train. To get a male perspective on this, please read my colleague Mitch’s views HERE

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