There is a common misconception that only mothers receive criticism for their parenting style. However, fathers also receive judgment for their parental decisions and how they choose to tackle the parenting role.
According to a national poll, 52% of fathers experience shaming due to their parenting style, especially surrounding discipline and nutrition. The survey also reported fathers also receive critiques for “being too rough” or “not paying attention to their children.”
The criticism only increases when a father becomes a single parent. Most dads experience significant shaming after a divorce since they are tackling more responsibilities than ever before. So what can fathers do in the face of “dad-shaming?”
Don’t let criticism drag you down
According to the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, one in five means are less motivated to remain active parents after receiving harsh criticism. It’s even more devastating when it comes from a co-parent or close family member.
As difficult as it sounds, you cannot let criticism affect your role in your child’s life. You have to push past negative comments and find the best parenting style for you. Once you do that, you will see improvements in your family dynamic.
Avoid attacking out
Dad-shaming is an embarrassing experience for dads who receive criticism. No one wants to be told they can do better, especially when it comes to their child. However, you need to step back before throwing an insult at the other person.
Recognize the negative feelings you may have and move on. You don’t want to dwell in the shame and let it affect your abilities as a father. In reality, you are probably a great dad who has a different perspective on how to raise children.
Acknowledge that it’s more about them
We’ve all heard about the idea of bullies pick on people to make themselves feel better. The same is true for people who shame other fathers. They often use criticism as a way to make themselves feel better about their insecurities and guilt in their parenting style.
Recognizes that the shaming may not be about you. They may be using you as a way to feel better about themselves. And in that case, you shouldn’t take any of their comments too seriously.
Shaming is always a negative experience, but it’s only a small portion of parenting after divorce. You will experience so many happy memories with your child that any negative comments will roll off your back with ease.