Dads tired of criticism


One gift many dads want for Father's Day is not being judged for their parenting style.

A University of Michigan study of over 700 fathers of children up to the age of 13 found that half have faced criticism and second-guessing about their parenting choices on everything from what they feed their kids to how they play with them.

For more than a quarter of fathers polled, criticism made them feel less confident as a parent and 20% said it discouraged them from being more involved in parenting. And 43% of fathers also believe the criticism was often unfair.

"While some fathers say criticism prompts them to seek more information about good parenting practices, too much disparagement may cause dads to feel demoralised about their parental role," said researchers.

"Family members - especially the other parent - should be willing to acknowledge that different parenting styles are not necessarily incorrect or harmful."

According to the report, dads' discipline methods emerged as the top category for parenting put-downs. The second-biggest daddy-shaming category was diet and nutrition, with two in five dads saying they were criticised for what they fed their kids.

Nearly a third of fathers also felt judged for not paying enough attention to children and an equal number said they were told they played too rough.

And the most common source of criticism often came from within the family - usually the other parent. Grandparents were the next greatest dad critics after their partners. 

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.