Children object to losing time with fathers to 24/7 economy

Topic Selected: Families and Parenting

General Article icon Type: General Article

Weekdays are OK, but children resent their fathers working nights, weekends and in stressful, inflexible jobs.

By Professor Lyndall Strazdins

Fathers struggle to strike a work-family balance. According to some studies, many find it tougher than even mothers do. Women also complain about dads overworking – particularly when they’re left holding the baby or if family commitments mean they can’t compete at work with “long-hours men”. But how do children feel about dads’ jobs?

We asked thousands of children between ten and 13-years-old. Their responses are a wake-up call to governments who often regard fathers’ work simply in relation to family income but rarely in relation to family time. Unlike mothers, fathers have received little effective consideration from workplaces or policy makers to help them achieve family-friendly work.

That oversight is a big problem for children, our study finds. It shows that work o

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