Fathers are more involved in the day-to-day care of the kids when they’re encouraged by the moms. A study in the June issue of the Journal of Family Psychology examined 97 couples.
The researchers determined that mothers are the “gatekeepers” of day-to-day childcare. Encouragement of the fathers’ behaviour was associated with increased involvement, while criticism was linked to less. However, the study suggested that the relationship probably goes both ways, with father’s behaviour generating more positive reactions, leading to more involvement.