This article studies the structure of the pastime of contemporary preschool children and the importance and prevalence of various kinds of activities that parents and their children share. The emphasis is on those features of parental behavior that are determined by gender role (mother/father), family status (two-parent/separated family), style of parentchild relationship, and also child’s gender. The work is based on data from 1,936 questionnaires received from parents of preschool children (from 1.5 to 7 years old) who were attending Moscow kindergartens. The research was carried out in 41 kindergartens in 9 districts of Moscow. The survey uncovered several social-psychological features of the position parents take while organizing their shared pastime with preschool children: the influence of traditional gender-role models of parental behavior; the “complementary” principle of mother’s and father’s social-role positions in the upbringing of a daughter; the distortion of traditional maternal behavior in the upbringing of a son in a separated family; the reduced organization of shared play with a child in a separated family; the influence of the style of the parent-child relationship on the participation of parents in their children’s activities. The dynamics show how the parents’ position changes as their children grow older (from 1.5 years to 7 years): namely, the decrease of parents’ organization of and participation in a preschool child’s activities has a negative impact on their emotional state while interacting with the child.
Keywords: preschool childhood, family pastime, shared activity of parents and children, parental position, parent-child relationship