It's no secret that fatherhood has changed significantly from the days of our grandparents. A recent survey conducted by Pew Research revealed that fathers today spend more time per week on childcare than in previous generations. In 2016, fathers reported spending an average of eight hours a week on child care – about triple the time they provided in 1965. And fathers put in about 10 hours a week on household chores in 2016, up from four hours in 1965. By comparison, mothers spent an average of about 14 hours a week on child care and 18 hours a week on housework in 2016.
This is largely due to the fact that mothers are now spending almost equal time at work as their male counterparts. But what exactly does this mean for modern-day dads? How do they balance parenting and careers? What are their thoughts about gender roles?
While they’re spending more time with their children, many dads feel they’re not doing enough. Most dads (63%) said in a 2017 survey that they spend too little time with their kids, compared with 35% of mothers who said the same. Among both dads and moms who said they spend too little time with their kids, work obligations were cited most often as the main reason. Dads are also less positive about their own parenting abilities than are moms. Just 39% of fathers said in 2015 that they were doing a “very good job” raising their children, compared with 51% of mothers.
Dads are just as likely as moms to say that parenting is extremely important to their identity. Some 57% of fathers said this in a 2015 survey by the Center, compared with 58% of mothers. Like moms, many dads also seem to appreciate the benefits of parenthood: 54% reported that parenting is rewarding all of the time, as did 52% of moms. Meanwhile, 46% of fathers and 41% of mothers said they find parenting enjoyable all of the time.
To help you navigate this new world of fatherhood, we've listed a few tips that'll have you feeling confident about your role as dad!
- Be present. Consistency is King.
- 2. Create opportunities to teach. You’ll be investing in your relationship with your child today, equipping him with skills he’ll need tomorrow, and creating a legacy of competency for future generations.
- Make sure to schedule ‘hang time’ on a regular basis. Let your children take the lead and learn what’s on their minds and in their hearts.
- Create a solid parenting philosophy. Get clarity and consensus with your spouse/partner on the fundamental values and desired outcomes, then build your own special connection with the kids.
- Don’t be a stranger. Share who you are; your history, hopes, dreams.
Yes, fatherhood has changed significantly in the last 50 years. Nowadays, fathers are more involved in their children's lives and can often be found at home caring for the kids and working as hard as moms do outside of the house. These changes have a significant impact on how we raise our children, including differences in what we teach them about gender roles and expectations for their future careers. These trends point to a win-win for Moms and Dads, but the biggest winners are our kids!