Dad-Shaming: Is It Real? Just how bad can it be?

Summary

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The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital helps uncover just how bad dad-shaming is for guys’ parenting styles and mental and emotional health. Mom-shaming has been well documented. From the moms who are ridiculed for feeding their babies formula instead of breast milk to the ones who are reprimanded by total strangers for their child’s behavior in public, shaming is a harsh reality that seems to happen far too often. But a new poll finds moms aren’t the only ones dealing with shaming when it comes to their parenting. 

As Father’s Day creeps up, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked dads across the country with kids up to 13 years old “about their perceptions of being criticized about their parenting style.” Turns out, 52 percent of dads said they’ve been criticized for the way they parent. Whoa!

And the majority of criticism isn’t only coming from outside sources: 44 percent is from their child’s other parent. It makes sense, says study author Sarah Clark, because the opportunity for criticism rises when you’re around someone on a regular basis. But it can affect dads on a greater level because “it undercuts the concept of the parents as a team that is working together,” Clark tells Parents.com. The data backs it up: over a quarter of dads in the poll said the “criticism made them feel less confident” while 1 in 5 said it made them want to be “less involved as a parent.”

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