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Father’s Day 2011 – A Push For Overlap Parenting

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There is no doubt that moms and dads have unique, perhaps genetically determined, strengths when it comes to parenting.   Nobody would challenge this and we’ve known this for eons.  I think what’s interesting is that we can really no longer rely on solely these “genetic” strengths to get us through our days as parents.
More dads are staying at home now more than ever and therefore have to learn new techniques that traditionally would have been mom’s territory.  And vice versa – working moms have to explore more playful and creative ways to connect with their children when they only have several hours at the end of a day.
I think parents know what these strengths or roles are in their own families.  The secret though, because of the age we live in, is to ‘mindfully’ overlap the roles.  This is why we advocate so hard for moms to join in the fun of roughhousing.  To this point though, we should also equally advocate for dads to participate more actively in the daily hum of family life – the logistics that make a family work (like getting your children to school on time without forgetting their lunches and homework, scheduling doctor and dentist appointments, planning meals, etc.).  This kind of mindful overlap is not only great for kids, but also great for the parents’ relationship.
Roughhousing is absolutely a natural strength for many dads.  But I would venture that most moms can do it just as well if not better if they had the opportunity.  This is the overlap concept again.  A big reason moms don’t roughhouse is because SOMEONE has to maintain the hum.  This changes though when overlap happens because both parents are truly partnering to maintain a sense of order and both are also getting rowdy.

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