The reactions of new mothers to the father’s interactions with their baby in the early stages of the relationship could have an effect on that father’s parenting quality, according to a new study by OSU researchers. They found that fathers didn’t do as well in their parenting to 9-month-old kids if dads felt mom has been critical of their parenting abilities earlier on.
The study looked at higher income, educated couples who both had careers. Researchers are referring to this affect as maternal gatekeeping. This is due to the fact that in our society moms still have the most respect and control in the sphere of child rearing, according to researchers.
One way researchers measured maternal gatekeeping’s affect was by having dads report how often mom took control of a child rearing task because mom thought the job wasn’t being done well or correctly. Researchers suggested that mom needs to encourage dad by inviting him to do tasks like bathing and letting him know he has done a good job.
The study appears online in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.