Is Dad shaming even a thing?

The more a dad helps raise their kids, the more likely it is that he will be criticised for how he does it. More than half of fathers of children aged 13 have reported receiving criticism for their parenting methods or decisions, according to a recent nationwide poll. 

67% of parents reported receiving criticism for the way they discipline their children, 43% for the food they give them, 32% for treating them harshly, and 32% for not paying enough attention to them.

Also, dads were criticised for the choices they made about their kids’ safety (19%), appearance (23%), and sleep (24%).

In general, dads face a lot of criticism in almost every area of parenting. It makes sense that some fathers might be a little tentative when it comes to raising their kids. Let’s be honest, our society holds parents’ parenting practices—their parenting style, to be the gold standard of what is known by good parenting. That standard is the root cause of fathers’ criticism. The evidence that indicates dads and moms parent differently—in ways that are complementary to one another and beneficial to children’s wellbeing, or the growing importance of dads in providing for their children haven’t changed our societal standards around good parenting.

In general, dads face a lot of criticism in almost every area of parenting.

The good news is that 9 out of 10 (92%) dads who responded to the survey believed they do an excellent job at parenting. That’s significant because self-assurance is essential for achievement in any task.

However, studies have found that people frequently exaggerate their awareness, knowledge, and expertise. They have a breezy attitude. The more confident people are, the more susceptible they are to overconfidence bias. Being a parent is no different.

What should you do as a father?

So, as a father-serving professional, what should you do with this information?

1. The first step is to believe that an involved father has received criticism for his parenting, even when he does not express it. Let him know that he is not alone and shouldn’t feel guilty for raising his children differently from his mother.

2. Second, realise that when a dad becomes more active in his child’s life, he will eventually face criticism for his parenting. Get him ready for the criticism.

3. Third, be aware that a dad’s parenting may be criticised.

4. Fourth, let all dads know that their awareness, knowledge, and skills—which they already have and are acquiring—will make them better parents. Inform them that bringing their natural parenting ability—a dad’s parenting style—to the fore will help their child more than mom parents.

Using it as a foundation, assist fathers in distinguishing between legitimate and unjustified criticism.To assist dads in coping with existing and potential dad-shaming, suggest these three steps:

Don’t let it bother you. (That’s easier said than done, particularly when dealing with something as sensitive as receiving criticism for your parenting style.) It is the first and most important step. If you are sensitive to criticism, you won’t advance past this stage.

Keep going

Be willing to push yourself, listen intently, and keep an open mind. The foundation of any endeavour to get better, including that of becoming a better parent, is the capacity to retain an open mind, actively listen, and challenge oneself. You might think you know too much about parenting and have too many parenting skills. Be a parent who is always looking to get better. Your parenting may come under valid criticism from someone.

Be willing to push yourself, listen intently, and keep an open mind.

Take a step back and think. Spend as much time as necessary thinking critically and unbiasedly about the criticism. The critique’s validity (or lack thereof) may be immediately apparent. If something is unclear, get assistance from a person whose parenting advice you value and who has proven to be honest and direct with you. It might be your child’s mother, the grandmother of your child, or a friend who is a terrific parent. You, the expert, could be the culprit!

If the criticism is unfounded, dads should be given explanations unless it is obvious that they already do. If the criticism is fair, help them come up with a way to improve that part of how they raise their kids.

Bottom Line

Dad shaming is not a thing to be taken lightly. Lots of Dads around the world suffer from this and also develop low self esteem as a parent and feelings of worthlessness. Caring for a child is not an easy task, and every child needs their own way of bringing up which cannot be tied down to certain ways. Good parents around the world are doing their best to offer as much as they can for their children. Let us not blame our dads for being a bad parent and instead support them for trying their best in every way possible as they love their children!

Ridhiman Das
Ridhiman Das
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