Modern fathers don’t have time to be ‘Dad’

June 15, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Modern working fathers now spend so much time at the office they consider their primary role to be ‘breadwinner’ rather than ‘father’.

Researchers working with voucher website Savoo.co.uk studied the attitudes towards family life of 2,500 dads around Britain who work full-time.

They were asked to identify the roles they perceived as their key responsibilities within their own family unit.

Staggeringly, three quarters of those questioned said they saw themselves more as a breadwinner than they did as a father.

Just one in two identified ‘dad’ as their first priority while a similar number picked ‘husband’.

Other roles which many of them they felt they occupied were ‘gardener’, ‘driver’, ‘repairman’ and ‘chef’.

The study carried out by discount voucher site Savoo.co.uk to mark Fathers’ Day also found seven out of ten dads would like more time with their kids

A spokesman for Savoo.co.uk said: ”It’s worrying to see that so many dads see their role as putting food on the table, rather than as a father figure.

”And with Father’s Day approaching, it’s concerning to see that so many dads feel detached from family life.

”Father’s Day is a great time for children and partners to show their dads and husbands how much they appreciate everything they do.

”And with half of fathers stating that a weekend away together would be the best gift they could receive this Father’s Day, we’re offering some great deals on cheap weekends away and experience days.

”They won’t break the bank and they will give get the whole family laughing together and help fathers really feel appreciated and part of the family.”

The study, which was carried out between (dates in here please) and asked dads to select what they felt that their main role is.

It emerged 74 per cent picked ‘breadwinner’, 53 per cent picked ‘father’, 52 per cent opted for ‘husband’ and 18 per cent went for ‘gardener’.

Just over one in four picked ‘driver’, one in three went for ‘repair man’ and one in six opted for ‘chef’.

Other roles to make the top ten included ‘plumber’, ‘cleaner’ and ‘gardener’.

Among the more bizarre answers were ‘teacher’, ‘entertainer’, ‘friend’ and ‘electrical engineer’.

The study also found one in six dads said they never got involved in the family decision-making process because they were always at work.

And of those who were involved even they said they were only able to voice their opinion 50 per cent of the time due to work commitments.

‘Meal times’ and ‘choices on home decoration and the kids’ daily routines’ are among the subjects which modern dads have little or no say on.

‘Bed times’, ‘healthcare’, ‘homework’ and ‘holiday planning’ also fall outside the remit of most dads.

Almost six out of ten dads said they felt they were missing out on quality time with the kids due to long hours at the office.

Worryingly, four out of ten said they felt ‘under-appreciated’ and one in two said they were ‘too tired’ to play with the kids once they did finally arrive home from work.

More than half said the kids were often in bed by the time they got home – which happens at least three times a week.

The survey also found just three in ten dads have sat down to read with their child in the last four weeks, while the same number have helped them with their homework.

Three quarters of dads polled wish they spent less time working and more time with their kids.

It emerged they eat dinner together as a family three times a week, while twice a week dads will sit down to their meal in front of the television.

A worrying quarter admit they sometimes feel closer to their work colleagues than their family, and three quarters admit mums knows their children best.

A spokesman for Savoo.co.uk, added: ”Dads don’t want to feel distanced from their family, but long office hours and lengthy daily commutes means millions of dads are missing out on their valuable time with their kids.

”They feel under pressure to provide a decent standard of living for their family, but in doing so are potentially damaging their relationship with their children.

”And perhaps the rise of the ‘do-it-all mums’ means dads are being pushed to the sidelines in the daily goings-on in the family unit and decision making.

”It’s a vicious cycle – if dads already feel detached from family life, then unless there’s a change to their routine, it won’t improve.

”It’s a difficult balancing act, but it’s important to spend time with children and partners at the weekend and anytime during the day.

”Trying to eat dinner around the table three or four times a week, playing football at the park or hearing the kids read will all help family bonding.

”That’s why we want children and partners to celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, to show fathers they are appreciated, and for everything they do.”

MODERN DADS’ ROLES
1. Breadwinner
2. Father
3. Husband
4. Repair man
5. Money manager
6. Driver
7. Gardener
8. Chef
9. Plumber
10. Cleaner

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