Conflicting ideals of parenting afflict fathers and mothers


The ideal parent is not only loving and patient but also disciplined. This is the opinion of parents of families with children, who have been answered by researchers from the University of Jyväskylä survey about what an ideal mother and mother are like.

However, such parenting is not enough for society. Parents feel that in addition to these qualities, society glorifies, among other things, career orientation, education and wealth.

More than 1,400 parents shared their views with the survey in an online survey. The vast majority of respondents were mothers, but about a hundred fathers also participated in the study. 76% of the respondents had a university degree.

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The oldest children in the families were, on average, just under eight years old.

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“The views of the fathers and mothers who responded to the survey on the ideal parent are very similar,” says the professor of psychology at the University of Jyväskylä, one of the authors of the study. Kaisa Aunola.

Parents ’own views of ideal parents correspond to the traditional image of a loving and caring parent who cares about boundaries.

“My ideals focused more on interacting with the child. The ideals of society clearly extended beyond the home, and they highlighted issues related to wealth, career and work, ”says Aunola.

Parents felt that society also expected selflessness, household skills, accomplishment, and even omnipotence from parents.

“There was a picture in the answers that society sets expectations that no parent can meet,” says Aunola.

“You have to try to be a loving, patient and present parent. At the same time, there is pressure from society to be career-oriented and wealthy in order to be able to pay for hobbies so that the child develops well and gets all the opportunities that other children get. ”

Aunola and her colleagues have previously studied parental exhaustion, which is relatively common in Finland. Finnish parents were compared in 42 countries seventh most exhausted, when, for example, Swedish parents were only in 21st place.

According to Aunola, the contradiction between one’s own values ​​and expectations from the direction of society revealed in the new study is one of the key factors that gnaws at the strengths of mothers and fathers.

Research on ideal parenting has been published in the journal Psychology.


Source: Tiede by www.tiede.fi.

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