Millennial dads 3x more hands-on: Studies strengthen case for more work-from-home fathers

Millennial dads 3x more hands-on: Studies strengthen case for more work-from-home fathers

MANILA, Philippines — Today's fathers are spending three times as much time with their children as they help their partners in attending the needs of their kids, from schooling, playtime and bedtime, to looking after their overall health, recent studies show.

One study, titled “A Matter of Time: Father Involvement and Child Cognitive Outcomes” by Tomás Cano, Francisco Perales and Janeen Baxter, was first published in “Journal of Marriage and Family” last Sept. 25, 2018, and said that though millennial dads want to share equal parenting responsibilities with their partners, there are several factors that do not enable them to do so, including expectations at work. 

The study concluded that enabling fathers to take more part in childcare through work-family balance "should bring moderate?to?high gains to their children in terms of cognitive functioning."

In time for Father's Day this year, Similac GainSchool conducted a similar study, interviewing 150 Pinoy dads to share their aspirations for their kids, what do they feel and how involved are they in the daily activities of their kids.  

Filipino dads with kids three and above were asked various questions to understand the differences in actions and attitudes towards the role of fathering.

Here are some of the  dads’ confessions.

  • 70% of dads read to their kids before bedtime and half of them have fallen asleep before their child did
  • 149 dads play with their kids and 75% of them accidentally made their kids cry while playing 
  • 9 in 10 dads help their kids with homework and more than half admitted they couldn’t understand the lesson 
  • All dads share their food with their kids but a third of them confessed they would take a large bite first. 

These dads believe that their child would grow up smart, all of them even wish their kids would grow up smarter than them. While they love to spend time with their kids, these dads confessed fatherhood is tough.

Dads can get emotional, too

Nearly two thirds of the dads surveyed became emotional as they share their confessions. Most of the respondents shared that their children inspire them to be at their best every day, despite the difficulty of fatherhood. 

About eight out of 10 dads also highlighted that they go through the same things that moms do – struggle, stress, fatigue, pressure and sometimes even more so. They feel the pressure from the need to be strong but can’t show this. 

More than 50% expressed that some of them are not rewarded or recognized as much as the moms do but for these dads, a simple “I love You” would mean the world to them. These dads all agreed that they would do everything for their kids to have a bright future. 

JC Intal, a proud Similac GainSchool ambassador, confessed: “Saying ‘no’ to my two girls is very hard – that’s my dad confession. There’s no manual set on how to be a father. But for me, I have learned that being a father is about giving, understanding, failing and continuously trying. I have struggled a lot also just like any other dads. Fatherhood is tough, but it’s worth it.”

When asked about his utmost priority as a father, he said: “I always make a conscious effort to only give the best to Lucia – nothing is more important to me than seeing my girls grow up strong and healthy.”