Fathers better parents than mothers, says Pew Research Center

Filed under: Just For Moms, Just For Dads

As a father who writes for a parenting website with a number of very dedicated and capable mothers, I'm in no position to take sides on any "Moms vs. Dads" debates.

But after reading this new poll by the Pew Research Center, I have to admit, it's very tempting. The group surveyed 2,020 Americans, and found that people think today's fathers are doing a better job than today's mothers. In fact, more than half (56%) of those polled felt moms are doing a worse job now than they were 20 or 30 years ago, while only 47% feel that way about dads. Slightly more than 1-in-5 (21%) feel that dads are doing a better job, while only 9% said that was true for moms.

While I imagine those figures will be controversial, the Pew results also noted some trends that most parents will likely agree on. Namely, that's it harder to be a parent than it was in the 1970s or 80s. 70% of respondents say that today's moms have a tougher job than their predecessors, and 60% say the same is true for fathers. And -- by far -- the number one problem for today's parents is the influence of modern society -- drugs and alcohol, peer pressure, and the impact of television/media were listed as primary concerns.

What's interesting, isn't that fathers actually are better than mothers, or that anyone is doing a worse job of parenting today than people did 30 years ago (these results are based solely on people's opinions, after all), but that the American public thinks dads are doing a better job. For whatever reason, it seems that even though we all recognize the sames problems in raising our children -- we continue to think that whenever something goes wrong, mothers are to blame.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.