What Moms Can Learn From Dads

Dads often have different parenting styles from moms and guess what? Kids are better for it.

When it comes to raising kids, men’s parenting styles can be just as effective as women’s (sometimes more so).

Here are 8 ways that dads’ methods may differ from their partners,’ most likely resulting in a happy, confident child.

1. Turn work into play

What moms often see as drudgery — diaper changing, baby food feeding, toothbrushing — dads turn into playtime. A diaper becomes a hat, a spoonful of strained carrots is a choo-choo train. Suddenly, routine tasks are fun!

2. Not so quick to fix

When a toddler falls down, moms often swoop in to pick him/her up and soothe. Dads do the opposite: they let their kids get back on their feet and try again. By letting them work through problems themselves, dads are teaching their children resilience and “stick-to-it-tiveness” — important qualities in life.

3. Use grown-up words

Men tend to speak to their kids as equals, using bigger words and less baby talk. They are also more inclined to teach them the ways of the world, less inclined to coddle, and quicker to offer constructive criticism. By giving “straight talk,” they’re subtly teaching the most direct route to a solution.

4. Let them take a risk

Dads are usually less overprotective than moms, allowing their kids to take risks because they recognize these as important keys to learning.

5. Trust your gut

While moms have a tendency to check and double-check what to do and how to do it, dads are more willing to listen to their own instincts. From potty-training to bedtimes, dads lean toward what makes sense to them and what seems right for their child.

6. Get goofy

Dads love to kid around! By showing that they can be spontaneously silly and still keep the house from falling apart, they’re teaching key lessons in balancing business with pleasure, chores with fun.

7. Pick your battles

With a headstrong toddler or preschooler, it often feels like everything’s a fight. Dads, however, tend to seek compromises, divert the child’s attention or revisit at a later time what’s causing the tantrum (taking a bath, getting dressed). The key is to be flexible, especially when a battle seems to be brewing.

8. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Does it really matter if your child’s pants clash with that shirt? Dads are notorious for not worrying about details like stripes with polka dots, messy hair, untied shoelaces…and in the great scheme of things, that’s just fine.