You are here

Why Dad's Parenting Technique Can Be Better

Fancy Photography for Veer

Doesn't make a big deal over every battle

"As opposed to the way my wife deals with it, I'd rather not force Xander into a bath when he doesn't want to take one, and then have to deal with his screaming and crying," says Jarosh. "So I'll set something up like, 'Do you want to tackle Daddy one more time or two more times before the bath?'"

Why moms are different: "Fathers generally avoid emotional head to head with kids," says Pruett. "Moms are more likely to think 'If you love me, you'll do what I say.' Dads tend to think they're going to lose those battles. So they tease or divert - they can get their kids to do what they need them to do without making it a life-or-death matter."

Another big reason dads can be more flexible: If they're not around all day, every day, they may not be as worried about sticking to a routine as moms are.

Dealing with the difference: Knowing this about dads has helped me recognize that when I descend into a battle of wills with Sylvia, it's a choice I'm making - there are other options available. Instead, I'll sometimes sneak in the dreaded activity (getting her coat on, for instance, or strapping her into the car seat) once I've plied her with raisins or a favorite book.

Lately, I've noticed that a funny thing happens when I lay off the judgment: Aron and I are more likely to be open to trying the other's approach. That means that he might read about toddler behavior, or I'll make a game out of brushing Sylvia's teeth, instead of gritting mine.

So on Father's Day, I think I'm going to inaugurate our first annual Sometimes, Every Once in a While, Whaddya Know - Father Actually Does Know Best Day, and follow his lead. At least for the day.

For hilarious daddy tips (that moms will love, too), check out our new book Show Dad How, and learn how a stroller can help you get six-pack abs, turn your cell phone into a baby monitor, and more.

Emily Bloch also writes for Real Simple and Marie Claire.