Fathers spend more time with children during pandemic: UK survey
TORONTO – New research in the UK suggests the pandemic has led fathers to spend more time with their children and help more around the home.
The UK-based Fatherhood Institute conducted an online survey of 2,045 fathers in Britain during the first wave lockdown restrictions between March and May 2020. With more fathers working from home, the group has found that 78% of fathers spent more time with their children.
Fatherhood Institute communications manager Jeremy Davies calls it “a very, very big social phenomenon.”
“We have found that fathers spend a lot more time with children, a lot more than usual. In fact, going back as far as the Industrial Revolution, it would be hard to find a time when men spent so much time at home. home with their kids, ”he told CTV News Channel on Sunday.
The survey also found that fathers were more involved in aspects of family life, from housework to helping with homework – tasks that would normally have fallen to mothers. About 73 percent said they spent more time helping their children with homework and 72 percent said they did more housework, laundry and cooking.
“Many of the fathers in our survey said they understood this partner better,” Davies said.
“Because of the time that fathers normally spend outside the home, whether at work or traveling to work, most of the time families end up deciding that this work should be done primarily by mother, so it was a real change both for mothers and fathers. “
But not all fathers have been fortunate enough to benefit from the pandemic, especially working fathers in essential service jobs and have not been able to work from home.
“We found that among the most disadvantaged fathers the positive effects were reduced,” Davies said.
In addition, 46% of fathers who live apart from their children said they saw their children less during the pandemic.
“These are the fathers who have had the most negative mental health experiences during this time,” Davies said.
In the future, the Paternity Institute wants more employers to offer more flexible working hours to fathers and take into account their care commitments.
“I think there are a lot of fathers who struggle with their employers to be recognized for their paternity, and that’s definitely a problem,” Davies said.