Friday, August 31st, 2012
With Father's Day approaching on Sunday, many Australians are wondering what to give Dad on Father's Day and, research shows, the dads with young children are feeling anxious about what makes a 'good dad'.

Nearly two thirds of all dads are worried about not spending enough time with their children, according to a survey of nearly 800 working Australian fathers with young children, including 250 from NSW, 200 from Victoria and 150 from Queensland.

The Report, titled ‘The New Dad’, was commissioned by Converge International, an Australian not for profit organisation with more than 300 counsellors and psychologists providing face-to-face and over-the-phone counselling and psychological support in Australian workplaces to thousands of working fathers.

The research looked at how men balance careers and their responsibilities as fathers and was undertaken by Boston College Centre for Work & Family.

"We found that more than 50% of all the thousands of hours of counseling we performed were due to stress impacting productivity and performance. But not work-related stress but stress caused by 'relationship issues' and fatherhood issues at home," Dr Lindsay McMillan, CEO of Converge International said.

The research showed that the way fathers see their role has changed massively over a generation. Only 14% of men said earning money was their key responsibility, nearly 90% said they would like to be remembered for the quality of care rather than size of the paypacket.

"Most telling was that more than half of all dads said they believed caring should be equally split between them and their partner," Dr McMillan said.

"One of the biggest changes in any man’s life is the birth of a child. Unfortunately, dads just do not take time to adjust," he said.

The survey found that nearly 20% of all fathers took no time off at all, one third took a week or less and 70% took two weeks or less.

"However, our research revealed that, after the fact, three quarters of all fathers regretted not taking more time off when their child was born.

"In terms of balancing work or career and fatherhood, only 15% had negotiated a formal flexible work arrangement with their employer.

"While roughly half of all dads made use of working from home, 70% said their employer would not support it, which is a cause for concern.

"The research shows that employers certainly have ground to make up but here is a clear business case: Balanced, healthy and satisfied employees are much more productive and, for caring fathers with young children, that includes letting go of outmoded thinking about gender roles and providing flexibility," Dr McMillan said.

Contact Profile

Converge International

Converge International is an Australian not for profit organisation helping many of Australia's most forward-thinking businesses, form better workplace cultures and better cooperation between staff and management.

Converge has more than 300 counsellors, psychologists and workforce chaplains providing face-to-face and over-the-phone counselling and psychological support in the workplace to tens of thousands of employees working for Australia's largest employers.
Dean Troth
P: 0432 267 184


father's day, fatherhood, work-life balance, workforce, flexibility



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