I have been meaning to join in with The Prompt for some time, and now, when I finally get around to it, I am faced with this question. ‘Are women better parents than men?’ That is not exactly an easy question!
What would ‘a better parent’ look like?
Is the better parent the one who feeds and clothes the child? Is it the person who can stop the tears or the one who gives the biggest hugs. Does the better parent say ‘no’ or do they say ‘yes’, when our children try to dictate the things they want in life.
The problem is, if you judge one parent to be better than another based on these things, the chances are you are judging them based on who spends the most time with the child. If one parent spends more time with a child, whilst the other is, for example out at work, then of course that person will have a different sort of relationship with the child. Parenting, joyous though it is, can still be hard work. And like most things in life we learn an awful lot through experience. You cannot say one is better than the other, if the truth is that one person has more experience!
And actually, sometimes, the parent that spends more time with their child, can almost be too close. Too many tantrums, too many spoilt meals – it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, and become overwhelmed by the simple things.
These things are true of both men and women!
The question reminds me of a conversation I once had with a very dear friend. She suggested that another person was my ‘best friend’. I was quite shocked and told her that was not true. I advised her I did not have a best friend. I had many friends, but my relationship with each was different. Some made me laugh, some were good listeners. Some friends let me wallow and others gave me a kick up the bum if needed.
To me, this could also be true of parenting. Different people have different strengths. A women’s strengths may be different to a man’s but that does not mean better. A child will learn different things from all the people they have relationships with.
So, are women better parents than men?
If pushed to answer I would say the better parent is the one who wants their child to be happy, healthy and to grow up reaching their full potential and fulfilling their dreams. I think most men and women want that, and try to achieve it, in their own way, the best way they know how!