Moms and dads are needed in every child's life. There are different things a child can learn from each parent. Children also need nurturing from both parents.

It's more of a social norm for moms to take the larger role in a child's life, while dads take a bit of a secondary parental role. But, is that how it should be?

An American Psychological Association article brings up the idea of "maternal gatekeeping." This theory suggests that mothers may correct or criticize the way the father is caring for or playing with a child. The affects of such a reprimand may lead to a lack of parenting confidence for the father. The lack of compliments and confidence often result in dads parenting less and a lack of helping moms with the kids.

Since both parents are needed for the child's development, moms and dads need to work together to raise and nurture their kids.



  • Praise your husband's parenting efforts.

  • Allow him to develop his parenting skills.

  • Give him time with the children.

  • Take turns with bath time, bedtime and other day-to-day activities.

  • Talk about parenting goals and make decisions together.


  • Criticize your husband when he doesn't parent exactly like you.

  • Be a control freak when it comes to caring for your children. Some things are negotiable!

  • Belittle your husband's efforts.



  • Take an active parenting role.

  • Listen to your wife's suggestions as needed.

  • Improve your parenting skills.

  • Help your wife with the kids as often as you can.

  • Develop strong relationships with your children.


  • Criticize your wife's parenting efforts.

  • Avoid household responsibilities.

  • Break the parenting rules you and your wife created and agreed to together.

  • Give up on being a great father.

"Parenting doesn't occur in a vacuum, and there's no manual. When you pair that with gender norms that discourage men from taking an active role in parenting, it's important to understand what processes encourage men to actively engage in it," said Brian Cole, PhD. If the mother is not supportive of the father's parenting attempts, that furthers the problem for dads.

Parenting includes playing together, family vacations, working together, assisting with school work, bedtime routines and so many other wonderful day-to-day activities and moments. Parents need to work together when it comes to discipline and making family decisions. Moms and dads need to seek to be unified as much as possible while still allowing for different parenting styles.

Each parent will have strengths and weaknesses that he or she needs to work to improve. Sometimes, gentle correction is necessary; make sure it doesn't come across as harsh or critical. Parenting is not easy - especially since we basically learn how to do it as we go along. But, both parents play key roles in their children's development and how they view the world.

Remember that a different style of parenting doesn't always mean it's wrong. Try to see it from a different perspective before you turn into "Mama Bear" and roar at Papa Bear who is likely doing the best he knows how.

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