4 Top Myths about Fatherhood


Myth No. 1: Fathers are always male.


Fatherhood is not an inborn trait. It is a social role that one can learn in society. Although the great majority of fathers are male, there are fathers who are gays, lesbians, or even transgenders. Single mothers too also perform the role of a father to their children. Two important traditional roles of fathers in the family are being breadwinners and disciplinarians to the children. But any gender who can perform the paternal role can obviously become a father even though his/her sex or biological make-up is not male.

Myth No. 2:  Fathers are always disciplinarians.


Being a disciplinarian parent would greatly depend on the personality and social upbringing of the person. Either the mother, father, or both parents can be strict and disciplinarian in terms of enforcing the family norms. It is not always the father. A domineering personality of the parent, either the heterosexual mother, father, or gay is often the disciplinarian parent in the family. This trait is sometimes related to the social class background of  one or both parents.

Research shows that parents who come from the working class tend to be strict in discipline and following of rules as they are used to obeying policies in their companies and orders from their managers. Parents from the upper or middle classes who are usually entrepreneurs or managers tend to be more creative and flexible in enforcing  the family rules to their children.

Myth No. 3: Mothers are more emotionally connected with their children than the fathers.


Again, the strong emotional bonding with the children in the family would depend on the personality of the parent. The nine personality types called the Enneagram classifies the personality of people into 3 centers: The head person, whose first reaction to situations is to think and analyze before doing an action; the heart person, whose usually cares for people and relationship; and the gut person who is usually an action-oriented person. Please view the videos below to learn more about the Enneagram:

If the parent is a head or gut person, expect him/her to be more functional, detached, and less nurturing. But if the parent is a heart person, expect him/her to be strongly connected with his/her children emotionally. Heart persons are nurturers. They love to take care of their children and personally attend to their personal needs. One important need of Number 2 personality of the Enneagram is the “need to be needed.” Nurturing parent in the family is not necessarily the mother, although many mothers are nurturers because of with maternal instincts. However, the father too can be also nurturing more than the mother is the former is a heart person and the latter is a head or gut person.

Culture and socialization also play an important influence to the parent’s capacity to connect emotionally with his/her children. The point here is that the role  to connect emotional with his/her children does not automatically assigned to the mother. A father too can be nurturing depending on the personality and cultural training and orientation.

Myth No. 4: Fathers are indispensable.


The final myth propagated by the media in connection with fatherhood these days is the myth of the indispensable father. This means that a male father is necessary to raise a normal family. But some studies show that a single female parent can still raise her children in a normal way. In this case the single parent plays a dual role as father and mother figure. Besides, the single mother is usually assisted by her male relatives and friends that provide masculine socialization to the children.


According to a census in the U.S.,  less than 1 percent (140,000) of America’s 22.5 million married families with children under 15 stayed at home most of the time. By contrast, about 24 percent (5,327,000) of those families had a stay-at-home mom. This means that the vast majority — more than 97 percent — of all stay-at-home parents are moms, not dads. American mothers are therefore more influential to the life of the children than the fathers who are often away from home as breadwinners.

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