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‘Mums Should Let Dads Be More Involved In Their Male Children’s Upbringing’ – Parenting Expert

‘Mums Should Let Dads Be More Involved In Their Male Children’s Upbringing’ – Parenting Expert

A top parenting expert has warned mothers that being too possessive of their sons and not letting men be strong father figures can be detrimental to their boys’ upbringing.

The frank advice comes from parenting expert Noël Janis-Norton in her new book Calmer, Easier, Happier Boys.

According to the parenting and behavioural specialist and former teacher, fathers have much greater influence than mothers in shaping boys into well-adjusted young men – but too often mothers find it hard to back off and let dad take control.

‘Without a strong father-figure, (which could also be a step-father or grandfather), boys may struggle to learn how to express their emotions constructively, how to handle their physical strength and learn to respect others – and themselves,’ Janis-Norton tells the MailOnline.

‘Mothers need to allow dads to be dads and to have their own relationship with their children – and in particular with their boys – without trying to micromanage,’ she says.

The parenting expert, who has been credited by the likes of Helena Bonham-Carter turning her family life around, also warns mothers about being barking too many orders.

‘A boy will lose respect for the mother who appears to bossing the father around – or criticising him,’ she says.

So when Dad gets little Tommy dressed in the wrong clothes, feeds him the wrong breakfast and then starts a pillow fight should Mum just look on through gritted teeth?

‘Yes – absolutely she should!’ says Janis-Norton. ‘And the gritted teeth part comes because mums assume they know best – but actually none of us is perfect. We’ve got weaknesses too.

‘We’re not doing it right all the time. So really we shouldn’t be judging the dads!’

Of course mums are usually more familiar with the routines: ‘Even in families where both parents work long hours outside the home, children tend to spend more time with their mothers,’ says Janis-Norton. That’s not a problem for a girl – but for a boy it is. Because the genetically preprogrammed urge is for boys to copy their fathers. And it’s hard for a boy to do that when he doesn’t spend enough time with Dad.’

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Despite the title of her book, the Calmer, Easier, Happier Boys author, is at pains to point out that keeping calm is not always the goal. In fact, she actively encourages play-fighting for boys – especially when it’s with their father.

‘Mums generally don’t have an interest in play fighting and they worry someone’s going to get hurt, or feelings will get hurt, or clothes will get ripped or something will get damaged. But none of that is as important as boys getting their energy out and through play fighting they learn a lot about how to fight fair. They learn how to control themselves, they learn how not to be too rough – and they also learn how to make amends if it does go too far.’

‘Dads can teach boys all of that,’ she says but does advise that play fighting that is likely to become manic or annoy others in the house is best taken outside.

Of course mothers are not the only ones that need to make an effort to encourage that father-son relationship to flourish. Fathers needs to work at it too:

‘Because so many fathers are spending more hours at work and often have longer commutes their time at home may be taken up with household chores such as paying bills, mowing the lawn and doing repairs. You can see that even a loving, conscientious father can end up not being a very good role-model. They may be reluctant to insist on good behaviour, to enforce rules and routines and to follow-through when rules are broken or routines drift. The less involved a father is, the less confident he will feel and the less confident he feels, the less involved he will want to be,’ she warns.

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