Children want more time with dad

19 June 2001
More than 90 per cent of children want more time with their fathers, with three times as many saying that caring, rather than breadwinning, is their dad’s most important job.
  • Most would prefer David Beckham as their dad over Tony Blair or Prince Charles and three quarters think it is OK for dad to stay at home looking after them while mum goes to work, finds the survey commissioned by Fathers Direct, Children in Wales and supported by the Lloyds TSB Foundation.Nine out of ten girls would prefer the father of their children to be caring than rich and 88 per cent of the boys said they want to be fathers themselves when they grow up. More than half think parenthood should be taught in schools

    The “You and Your Dad” survey results are published before today’s national conference on children and fatherhood (Hanover International Hotel, Cardiff). Hosted by Children in Wales and Fathers Direct with support from Lloyds TSB Foundation, the conference will be addressed by the Archbishop of Wales, and Jane Hutt, Minister for Health, Social Services, Children & Youth Justice.

    The survey of more than 230 children, aged between 9 and 11, found differences between boys and girls: boys’ favourite activity with dad is sport, while the girls’ favourite is talking to him. Girls, far more than boys. downgrade the importance of breadwinning, in favour of caring fatherhood.

    Pat Davies of Children in Wales said:
    “We are committed to hearing children’s views on fatherhood to help us to plan more effective services in Wales. This survey shows that time – to talk, play and engage in sport are very important. Fundamental family values of caring and nurturing are seen as vital by children.”

    Duncan Fisher of Fathers Direct said:
    “The Government and business must listen to what children want from dads– not the latest toy, but more time so fathers can look after them. More flexible, shorter working hours would allow parents to do what children want them to do – share the roles of both providing and caring.“

    Linda Quinn, Lloyds TSB Foundation trustee for Wales, said:
    “The Lloyds TSB Foundation recognises the important role fathers can play with their children, and is delighted to support the National Conference which will bring to the fore the subject of fatherhood and the role of fathers within families throughout Wales. It is important that politicians and professionals from statutory bodies and voluntary organisations get the chance to discuss and influence the provision of effective services for fathers.”

    Key findings of the survey are:

  • 91 per cent want more time with dad
  • 88 per cent of boys would like to be fathers when they are older
  • 90 per cent of girls would prefer the father of their children to be caring rather than rich.
  • 64 per cent said dad’s most important job is looking after them, while 22 per cent said it was going out to work.
  • 78 per cent said it was OK for a dad to stay at home looking after the children while mother goes out to work.
  • 49 per cent said it is important to be married when you become a parent. compared with 51 per cent who said it was not important
  • Asked which of the following they would most like as their dad, the respondents said David Beckham (59 per cent), Prince Charles (13), Tony Blair (10). 18 per cent would not want any of the three.
  • Asked four ages when it would be best to become a dad the answers were 16 (8 per cent), 20 (63 per cent) 30 (24 per cent) 40 (5 per cent)

Children in Wales – Plant yng Nghymru is the national umbrella children’s organisation for Wales and was established in 1992 as a registered charity. It aims to promote the interests of children; to improve services in Wales and to put children high on the Welsh agenda. Children in Wales, 25 Windsor Place, Cardiff CF10 3BZ, 02920342434

Fathers Direct, the national information centre for fatherhood, is a charity founded in 1999 to promote positive relationships between men and their children. It runs Britain’s first on-line magazine for dads 020 7920 9491

Father Direct, 15 Lambs Passage, Herald House, Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TQ

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