Fathers are more fun…

Got your attention didn’t I?  Now moms, don’t be mad at me because we can be WAY fun, and trust me I am a really fun mom, it’s just that sometimes I feel like fathers are more fun!

So I was curious. Was I just ‘feeling’ less fun? Or is there was a difference in how mothers and fathers have ‘fun’. Here is what I found.

A summary of Fathers Involvement in Their Children’s Schools shared the following (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs98/fathers/):

  • Researchers are in agreement that mothers and fathers interact differently with their children (Parke, 1995).
  • Fathers spend proportionately more time playing with their children, while mothers spend a greater proportion of their total time with their children in caretaking activities (Lamb, 1986).
  • Because mothers spend a greater amount of time overall with their children, they may actually spend more time playing with them than do fathers, yet caretaking is still what best characterizes their time, while play best characterizes the fathers’ overall time with their children.  Fathers and mothers also play differently with their children, with fathers much more likely to be rough and tumble (Parke, 1995; Hetherington and Parke, 1993).

Whew!!  I’m not less fun!  I just play different than fathers do!  I would love to hear how you play and have fun. Whether you are a mother or a father, spending time having fun and playing is so important. Share ideas here!


Lori Korthals, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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One thought on “Fathers are more fun…

  1. I am a father and Grandad. Dads do play different. I think attitude to risk is a significant factor. In general guys are more likely to do risky things as fun (that is why they are fun!)
    Some observations: Mum will just say don’t do that you will hurt yourself. Dads would say be careful but let them do it. Dads are likely to see things that would be fun to climb up, jump off or hide in and cannot resist doing it himself.
    I think it is inherent in males to teach the child how to venture via rough and tumble play. Quite possibly a way of passing on survival skills and being ready for flight or fight.
    I have always seen it as my job to let them get mucky. Let them play in the mud,let them get covered in the stuff. Jump about in puddles, get wet. Importantly getting mucky and wet with them. My granddaughter does get great joy making soil and bucket of water into chocolate milk or a tasty pretend meal. We go out in rain and find puddles to splash in and jump across. We get on the beach to find somewhere high to climb and roll rocks about. There is nothing the matter with venturing or getting a bump or bruise doing it. To me it far more wholesome than being entertained by a screen. I will finish with a quote a climbing buddy of mine use to often repeat:
    “It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not venture that they are difficult.”
    ― Seneca

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