Research just totally blows me.
* Stephen Lunn, Social affairs writer
* From: The Australian
* May 20, 2010 12:00AM
ARE fathers more selfish or just more honest than mothers?
Not only do dads spend less time with their children, they don't enjoy that time as much as mums do, new research reveals.
Twice the number of fathers say they "sometimes or less often" enjoy spending time with their children than mothers, a report by the Australian Institute of Family Studies finds.
AIFS research fellow and author of "The best start: Supporting happy, healthy childhoods" Jennifer Baxter says when fathers were asked whether they enjoyed spending time with their children, 28 per cent said they "always or almost always" did, compared with 40 per cent of mothers.
As well, 21 per cent of dads said they "sometimes or less often" enjoyed the time spent with their kids, compared with just 11 per cent for mums.
"Dads often have that added pressure of long work hours. They're there in the mornings when time is so rushed and at dinner when there's so much going on, so that stress of combining work with the hard parts of the family day may be spilling over into their level of enjoyment," Dr Baxter told The Australian.
"Then on weekends, there is for both parents that tension of wanting to spend time with each child to build the specific relationship, but also not to neglect the family as a group, and somewhere in there wanting to find some time to pursue their own interests.
"It can potentially taint how a parent feels about time with their children."
Dr Baxter says part of the answer to why dads are less satisfied with their time with children is that they are more honest about it than mothers.
"Certainly it's possible. There's a very strong ethos that mothers must love and care and nurture their children . . . while fathers might be more inclined to admit when things aren't going well."
But she stressed that quality of parental time rather than quantity was a far more important factor in children's development.
The study is based on questions from a tracking study of the attitudes of 4000 people.
The study also found children spend far less time alone with their father than with their mother.
Who knew that dads spend less time with their children than moms?
Who knew that dads were pressured to work long hours while moms....hmmm...I don't know...sit home and twiddle their thumbs all day?
Who knew that when the weekend comes, dads were conflicted about how they would spend their free time?
Who knew that dads were more honest than mothers because mothers are pressured to say they enjoy spending 24 hours of the day with their children?
Then again, at least in the U.S., it doesn't appear that unemployed fathers enjoy spending time with their children either.
These aren't even the clinchers. Here they are right here:
1. The study also found children spend far less time alone with their father than with their mother.
2. quality of parental time rather than quantity was a far more important factor in children's development.
Oh shit, so much for that 50-50 shared parenting after divorce argument.