Research study on Australian dads unveiled

A father's role as the primary disciplinarian is shifting. Media should portray dads as being more involved, sensitive and nurturing.

This was one of the key findings from Nickelodeon Australia, a division of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), recent results from the “Wait Until Your Father Gets Home” study, which investigated the role fathers play in their children’s lives. The findings uncovered a shifting perspective in what it means to be a dad today, with the traditional role as disciplinarian dissipating, traditional gender-based roles evolving, and the pressures of work impacting their ability to connect and spend time with their kids.

“Wait Until Your Father Gets Home” also explored the way today’s dads are portrayed in the media, with a majority of respondents agreeing marketers and programmers should represent their greater involvement in parenting and acknowledge they are involved in all aspects of decision making regarding their kids.

According to the study, the shift of a father’s role from being the primary disciplinarian represents the biggest change from the previous generation. Today’s dads are more hands-on, present, patient and understanding and see themselves as less strict, feared, distant or work-focused than their own fathers. Dad’s today feel they have “come a long way and are more connected to their kids” and the phrase ‘wait until your father gets home’ is now perceived more as a reward than a threat.

Read the full findings on Nickelodeon’s trade site: www.nick.com.au/trade

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