New research confirms what many have suspected: moms who encourage dads to actively care for their baby are more likely to have an involved partner. Mothers who disparage fathers’ efforts will probably discover all the work falls to them.
``Mothers can be very encouraging to fathers, and open the gate to their involvement in child care, or be very critical, and close the gate,’’ said Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University, in a statement. ``This is the first real evidence that mothers, through their behavior, act as gatekeepers by either fostering or curtailing how much fathers take part in caring for their baby.’’
So the next time you complain about how little your husband helps with the kids, think to yourself: do I criticize the way he parents? You may be part of the problem.