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Workplace changes see dads spending more time with their kids

A recent survey has found that dads want to spend more time with their children in the future, having stepped up to do more hands-on caring of their children during the pandemic.

The report from families charity, Fathers Network Scotland, shows that 54% of dads are spending 10 or more hours a week playing with their kids or helping with schoolwork and 29% of those are spending 25 hours or more. 58% want to change how they parent in the future so they can spend more time with their children.

The transformation that has taken place in workplaces since lockdown has helped many dads get more involved in family life and share the load, as one dad who took part in the research explained:

I used to travel for work a lot before the pandemic and be office based. I have been working at home and travelling much less in the last 18 months which has allowed me to take the kids to school almost every day, which has been amazing.

Cathy Sexton, co-director at Fathers Network Scotland, commented:

Our earlier two surveys carried out during the lockdowns also showed, not surprisingly, that dads were spending more time with their children playing or helping with schoolwork. They also showed that dads didn’t want to go back to ‘normal’. They wanted to continue to spend more time with their kids, and many were actively looking to change their working patterns or jobs.

Although our most recent survey is telling us that dads are struggling right now, one of the positives is that despite schools and nurseries re-opening, many dads are still really enjoying spending time with their children.

Young children with involved dads do better at nursery and school. They make friends more easily and are better able to understand how other people feel. They have fewer behaviour problems and are more likely to get good school results.

Workplaces are beginning to realise that to recruit or retain both mums and dads they need to change their policies and working cultures to help them be fulfilled both at work and home. The dads who told us they benefited from family-friendly work really appreciate their employers’ understanding. Even employers whose staff work shifts or away from home can make small differences that can make a world of difference to their employees families.”

Another dad who took part in the survey talked about the time he spent with his daughter over the last 6 months:

I loved everything. She has been a shining light during these difficult times. Watching her curiosity grow and watch as she learns new things has given me so much joy.

Image: Shutterstock

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.