Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Research tells us that among fathers who are highly involved parents there exists infinitesimal difference between them and their wives in terms of parenting capacities (Ninio & Rinott, 1988).

The research failed to take me into account.

It has been less than a week since I finished school, and it is clear that I can't even come close to my eishes chayil.

Don't get me wrong. I love my kids more than anything in the world, and I know that I am a good dad. But the whole stay at home abba thing is not for me.

I think my problem is that, being a disciplined person, I can't deal with the times that my two and a half and one year olds act like two and a half and one year olds. My brother- in- law once actually said to his son who was two at the time and throwing a nasty tantrum, "stop acting like a two year old!!!"

Oh... the other problem is that I am a moron, and any decisiveness or common sense that I might display outside the house is lost once I step through the door.

A typical scene IH encounters when she returns from an errand that took 20 minutes:

Two and a half year old is gouging out his one year old sister's eyes while she desperately clings onto a block he is trying to wrestle from her. I sit on the couch reading.

IH: What's going on?
Me: They're playing.
IH: They're not playing, they're killing each other.

I'm fairly certain that had Ninio and Rinott observed me they would have quickly revised their work.

Ninio, A., Rinott, N. (1988). Fathers’ involvement in the care of their infants and their attributions of cognitive competence to infants. Child Development, 59, 652- 663
(if anyone is interested)


dave said...

OK, I'm not going to pay any attention to this study, because like all these kinds of studies where they contradict your everday common sense observations, they are nonsense. But just to understand where they are coming from-we are comparing 'fully involved fathers' to mothers? How about most fathers who can't stay home all day and be 'fully involved' because they would go out of their mind? Are they not in the study? This sounds like the results were rigged to prove an agenda, like one of those feel-good stories that the New York Times always trots out about gay couples showing how they are such committed and better parents than heterosexual parents.

Fern said...

Reading on the couch while your kids are playing, doesn't count as "highly involved" parenting. ;-) Maybe the study looked at fathers who played with their kids?