The increasing demands of many employers are impacting upon the quality time parents spend with their children.
A recent study surveyed 1,000 fathers (with children aged 16 years old or under) and the results were disappointing, if not surprising.
Increasing pressures and stress from work were cited by many as the reason for being home late and struggling to balance parenting commitments. 53% of fathers surveyed said they have missed significant milestones in their child’s development, such as the child taking their very first steps or speaking their first words. 62% said they have missed a parent’s evening, around 30% had missed a child’s Christmas play, whilst around 20% missed the child’s most recent sports day and the same figure felt they would be lucky if they caught one ‘bathtime’ a month.
The survey did not look at the similar demands on mothers but I suspect the outcome would not be dissimilar, as modern parents often share the responsibility of parenting. However, what was interesting was some separate research, which surveyed 2,000 mothers and revealed that the mothers felt they have to fulfil the role of “bad cop” whilst fathers are seen as the “good cop” and are seen as the “fun” parent exactly because they get to spend less time with the children. This can lead to frustration in relationships and can sometimes make mothers feel less appreciated, after spending a long day looking after the children only to be seen as the less fun parent. 20% of those mothers surveyed admitted that the perceived difference in roles had caused them to have jealous feelings towards their partner.
What the combined outcomes of these two separate studies may indicate is that whilst fathers may spend less time with their children, the time they do spend is considered to be “quality time” rather than the mundane day-to-day running of the family.
Balancing child care with careers whilst maintaining a healthy relationship between you as parents can be a difficult task. This task can become even more difficult when parents separate. Whilst there is a lot of negative research out there showing the impact of parental separation on children, it is pleasing to see that other studies have shown children can develop as well rounded individuals if their separated parents have committed to working together and co-parenting as a team.
If you need any assistance in relation to children matters, please do not hesitate to contact Justine Osmotherley from our Family team on 0113 336 3323 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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