UBC study – Fathers and Chores
A very recent study out of UBC, soon to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, reveals data showing that in homes where fathers pitched in, daughters held broader career goals. Contrast that with fathers who were vocal in their support of gender equality but continued skipping out on the domestic chores; in these families, daughters were more likely to see themselves as stay-at-home moms. While mothers’ gender and work equality beliefs were key factors in predicting kids’ attitudes toward gender, the strongest predictor of daughters’ own professional ambitions was their fathers’ approach to household chores. If Dads see future CEOs in both their daughters and sons it may be advisable to have them pick up the laundry and throw it in the wash machine. In other words, children watch and learn. ( http://news.ubc.ca/2014/05/28/dads-who-do-chores-bolster-daughters-aspirations/ ).
The study data suggests, “Kids might pick up their stereotypes about gender and about themselves not only from what parents say explicitly but from what they do around the house.” says UBC’s Croft. “The important part is just how much of an impact these behaviors seem to have over and above what parents are publicly endorsing”.
Other related research has found a wide variety of beneficial social and psychological effects stemming from fathers’ direct engagement with their children. Children whose fathers played with them, read to them, took them on outings, helped care for them and participated in house hold chores had fewer behavioral problems in the early school years, and less likelihood of delinquency or criminal behavior as adolescents. Father-child interactions promote a child’s physical well-being, perceptual ability and competency for relating with others; these children, daughters and sons, also demonstrate greater ability to take initiative, and there is greater evidence of self-control (Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We’ve Overlooked, by Paul Raeburn (Scientific American/FSG, 2014).
There are thousands of “Mommy” blogs available however very few resources for Dad’s to access when trying to make sense of shifting roles. For fathers searching for a “Dad’s” perspective on parenting information there is the website, Dads Who Diaper, created by two fathers who were desperate to find support and resources when their children were born. www.dadswhodiaper.com