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Child Rearing Differences Between Mothers & Fathers

By Jennifer VanBaren ; Updated April 18, 2017
Different child-rearing practices can lead to a well-rounded child.

Fathers and mothers often display differences in the ways they rear their children. The differences in child rearing practices between fathers and mothers are not bad things and actually offer diversity to children, which is beneficial in many ways. Children with two parents are able to learn how to handle many situations in two different ways.

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Mothers generally tend to display more care and empathy as they nurture and raise their children, while fathers tend to focus less on feelings and more on concrete actions. Mothers show more compassion to children than fathers do.


Fathers generally are more hands-on. Fathers tend to play more and spend more time doing physical activities with their children. Mothers are more likely to spend time talking to the children, asking questions and explaining things. Fathers do not verbalize nearly as much as mothers do. However, these differences offer benefits to the children from both parents, physically and mentally.


Raising children requires a lot of patience from the parents, especially the primary caregiver in the home. Mothers are more likely to display patience to the children in most situations. Mothers will offer more chances to a child when it comes to inappropriate behavior, whereas fathers tend to not take as many. Therefore, fathers tend to hand out punishments a lot quicker than mothers do. When children cry, a mother exhibits compassion and patience, while a father does not as quickly.


Another difference in the way mothers and fathers rear children relates to joking and teasing. Mothers typically talk more seriously with the children, and fathers generally joke and tease them more. A father’s behavior is less predictable to children, while most children know exactly what they can expect from their mother. The way a father does this helps prepare children for the unexpected events in life.


The ways fathers and mothers help children develop skills is another difference worth pointing out. Fathers generally teach children survival-type skills and problem-solving. These skills are necessary and very important for children to learn as they grow up. Mothers are more likely to teach their children emotional and relational skills. Mothers generally talk to children more than fathers, and they display more consideration and concern for others. These skills allow children to grow up with the ability to communicate with others and show empathy for people.

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About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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