Dads told to spend more time with their children

Research finds that dads spend far less time with their children and don’t enjoy it as much as mums

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Dads in Australia spent less than an hour a day with their children, a study of 4000 people has found. They’re now being urged by experts to carve out more time for their children.

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However, this may fall on deaf ears as the same study has also suggested that they don’t enjoy time spent with their children as much as mums.

When asked if they enjoyed spending time with their children, 28% of dads said they “always or almost always” did, compared to 40% of mums.

But the results may not show the whole story. “There’s a very strong ethos that mothers must love and care and nurture their children…while fathers might be more inclined to admit when things aren’t going well,” said Dr Jennifer Baxter, author of the study.

She claims there is less of a social stigma on dads to admit they don’t enjoy spending long periods of time with their children.

Dr Jennifer also stressed that it wasn’t the quality of parental time that was spent as far as the quality in terms of the child’s development.

The study also found some positive trends in the attitudes of modern dads. Dr Matthew Gray from the Australian Institute of Family Studies said, “I think about my father and my friends’ fathers; the way they spend time with their children is quite different to what I spend with my children and other people of a similar age. So fathers are definitely playing a greater role in their children’s lives.”

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Dads, what do you think? Are you spending enough time with your children and do you enjoy it? (And mums, do you agree?)

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