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Different parenting skills may be a thing of the past

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 21-06-2008

Moms and dads are usually considered to have inherently different sets of parenting skills.

Traditionally it has been thought that women are better at multi-tasking, remembering how their offspring like their packed lunches or when their swimming club is, while men are supposedly more adept at playing with their kids.

Although that is beginning to change as more dads stay at home to look after their children, generally the roles simply reverse.

However, there is now a new trend emerging for parents to be partners in raising their children, working equal hours, taking equal responsibility for the home and spending equal time with their kids.

The New York Times reported on this phenomenon earlier this week. It spoke to Jessica DeGroot, founder of the ThirdPath Institute, who said: "Women entering the work force changed the work force far more dramatically than it changed things back home."

Parenting skills and responsibilities are still divided in American homes even if the mother goes to work, as are household duties. Recent figures from the University of Wisconsin show that in households where both adults work, the wife does 28 hours of housework while the husband does 16.

In a bid to change this unfair dynamic some couples are forging a different path, embracing equal parenting in a bid to share the load.

It may not work for anyone, but this is likely to be a growing trend among modern families, particularly as a recent survey suggested that many American dads would be willing to take a pay cut in order to spend more time with their children.
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