We all know there are differences in how moms and dads parent, and those differences are essential in our kids' development. Some differences are reflective of the fact that we are all individuals, but here are some that generally reflect a gender difference. Keep in mind that these are just generalities, moms and dads may swap roles, and take on these different styles to varying degrees.
Moms tend to calm babies with babbling and affectionate touches, whereas fathers tend to get babies excited with laugher and physical play.
Moms are more likely to play with toys, bringing out things like puzzles, games, coloring, blocks, and make-believe items. Dads are more likely to do physical play – play chase, rough house, and build forts.
Dads tend to challenge kids to use their words to express themselves. This might be because dads tend to spend less time with kids and may be less aware of their non-verbal cues. They also are more likely to use bigger words rather than baby talk and offer constructive criticism. Moms are likely to coddle.
When kids are dealing with frustration, dads are more likely to allow them to deal with a greater amount of that frustration than moms.
Moms are more likely to be quick to rescue a child in need (catch a toddler about to fall, help put a block on top, or help with disputes with a child’s peers). On the other hand, dads are more likely to let a child make mistakes to learn from them and allow them to take risky behavior as part of learning (for example, doing the monkey bars alone or giving the child a chance to pick himself up)
Moms are more likely to do the research and read up on parenting topics to determine what is recommended, whereas by contrast, dads are more likely to trust their instinct.
The primary caregiver, regardless of which parent that is, tends to be the more serious one when it comes to discipline, routines, bedtimes, food, tv time, etc. And the parent that is the secondary caregiver tends to be seen as more fun. In many households, parents are fairly equal caregivers, and likely each take on both roles.
Have you noticed differences in the way you and your partner parent your children? If so, what are they?