A study has suggested a minimum role for fathers in childcare, especially for pre-school kids, besides stating that the families where mothers single-handedly take care of tasks like feeding and bathing witness less conflicts.
The fathers should spend more time playing with their children, the research study conducted by Ohio State University further states.
The results of the Ohio State University study do not surprise Relationships Australia (New South Wales) acting chief executive officer Lyn Fletcher, who said mothers often found it difficult to "give up control" of care-giving duties for their children even if they say they want their partner’s help.
"It’s not about the fathers doing those tasks, it’s how they do them," The Daily Telegraph quoted Fletcher as saying.
"Mothers are often very definite about the way they think things should be done in relation to caring for their children.
"If she thinks the father is not doing things to the standard she would, then it can lead to conflict.
"Sometimes mothers need to learn not to worry about small things that don’t really matter and just focus on the fact that their partner is helping with the children."
Father of four James Windsor is living proof that fathers can be the ones responsible for care-giving duties for young children.
Windsor, 42, has been a stay-at-home dad to his four children Lily, 6, Jack, 5, Lucas, 4, and Zoe, 2, since late 2008 while his wife works.
"It was difficult at first because I had to get used to being responsible for the traditionally female tasks of cooking and cleaning for the children," the father from Northbridge, a suburb on the lower North Shore of Sydney, said.
"But my wife and I were always fairly equal in terms of the work that we do around the house and with the kids."
The researchers observed over 100 couples caring for their toddlers before asking them to return one year later.
The research study’s results showed that, in general, when fathers indicated they played more with their child at the beginning of the study, the couple showed more supportive co-parenting a year later.