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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Are Dads Just as Good Caregivers?

Is a mother’s position as a caregiver biologically different from the fathers?

Is a mother’s position as a caregiver biologically different from a fathers?  When I first encountered this question my mind flooded with a whole bunch of different thoughts.  Honestly I do believe that women are more biologically intune to their children’s needs..  Does this mean that men can’t take care of their children as well a mom can?  Absolutely not!  I think men have the certain qualities that women sometimes tend to overlook.  Mom’s tend to be more on the protective side and dad’s seem to let kids be more explorers.  I think the relationship between parents can help a child’s overall  well being and development.

I wanted to do a little more research to find what others thought about this question.  One website stated that there are biological differences between mothers and fathers.  They site the hormone Oxytocin (often called the bonding/trust hormone) as being one the key elements to the differences in parenting.  Women tend to have more of the hormone from birth and breastfeeding.  It encourages a mother to comfort her baby and feel a sense of loss or longing when they are separated.  While both sexes produce the hormone,  a mother’s levels cause them to become more sensitive to the child and dads levels can cause them to become more playful.   These differences may show the impact of culture-role expectations. they also may show the distinct effect of Oxytocin in the brain.  (http://www.care.com/c/stories/10599/are-mothers-and-fathers -interchangeable-its/)

Another website claims that the biological connections starts way before birth.  Antenatal bonding is the feeling of being connected to the unborn baby.  It is an important predictor of the infant-mother relationships.  It is now understood that fathers can develop antenatal relationships as well.  While there are some differences it was also determined that parents are good at understanding what their child needs based on how much time they spent with their baby.  Other research has found that the father’s hormone level can be affected by hearing infant cries and that hormone levels influence the way in which they respond to the cries.  (http://theconversation .com/do-mothers-really-have-stronger-bonds-with-their-children-than-fathers-do-57590)

Our book tends to portray a different perspective, but to me it’s not biological it’s more passed from generation to generation oritenited.  Parents often work together to raise their children.  The patterns of parenting look similar between the parents, they way they touch, held and kissed their newborns are the same.  Differences were apparent from one couple to another but not from one gender to another.  Children benefit when both parents are caregivers (it’s true in every culture and ethnic group).  Some women feel that it is their job to raise the kids (I was brought up this way, women raise the kids and men worked to support the family).  I feel that it is a very personal decision.  There is no right or wrong here.  Parents who adopt kids can have the same feelings as those who have biological kids.  I have personally seen situations where the mom has no attachment to the infant, but the dad steps in and does a remarkable job.  My own upbringing wasn’t the best given the circumstances.  My mom didn’t really want much to do with me after I was born.  My dad ended up play both the role of mom and dad.  My grandmother also stepped in to help.  I think you can be a fantastic parent even without all the biological ties, and while biology plays a big role, it’s not the defining role.  (Berger, 2016 pg 148)

After doing some more research, I do believe that there are biological differences between mom’s and dad’s.  I don’t feel those differences have much say in how good of a caregiver you will be.  Every situation is different and parents have to learn what  works well for their kids.  I think on the whole when someone says that women are more capable of raising the kids than men they are being biased.  That seems to be passed from generation to generation and couldn’t be further from the truth.

References

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