NICKELODEON UNVEILS NEW RESEARCH STUDY ON AUSTRALIAN DADS
“WAIT UNTIL YOUR FATHER GETS HOME”
A FATHER’S ROLE AS THE PRIMARY DISCIPLINARIAN IS SHIFTING
MEDIA SHOULD PORTRAY DADS AS BEING MORE INVOLVED, SENSITIVE AND NURTURING
Nickelodeon Australia, a division of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), today unveiled the results of “Wait Until Your Father Gets Home,” a new study investigating 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 that marketers and programmers should represent their greater involvement in parenting and acknowledge that they are involved in all aspects of decision-making regarding their kids.
The Nickelodeon-commissioned study involved four qualitative group discussions, fourteen face-to-face interviews and over 900 online surveys conducted in Australia between 23rd December 2016 and 10th January 2017.
“Today’s dads are increasingly more involved in the day-to-day decisions around the household,” said Kirsty Bloore, VIMN’s senior director of research for Asia Pacific. “They purchase groceries, make decisions on what clothes and toys to buy and are involved in choosing day care. Most importantly, dads feel they should be portrayed as being much more involved and nurturing.”
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.
A large majority of Australian dads believe that they are “doing a good job” (78%) and “feel lucky” being a dad (80%), whereas 50% think parenting is “much harder than they had thought” and 44% believe parenting is “harder than in previous generations.” 62% say they want to be more involved however face expectations to stay at work with 54% agreeing, “workplaces are less understanding of the changing roles of being a father.” Dads can also feel the pressure of balancing caregiving over being the breadwinner in the household, with 44% believing “there is a disconnect between the expectations of me as a dad from home and from work.”
According to the study, 42% agree that the media portrays dads as stupid or clueless and 56% say marketers and programmers need to evolve in order to accurately reflect their involvement in household and parenting roles. 50% agree that the media should depict dads as sensitive and nurturing by showing them interacting with their kids, enjoying a variety of activities with them and showing that kids need them as well as mum.
A partner’s work status has the largest impact on a dad’s attitude and approach toward parenting. Nickelodeon’s “Wait Until Your Father Gets Home” identified three different categories of modern day dads:
- Provider Dads are the primary breadwinners and receive parental direction from the caregiver who is not working or is working part time. Provider Dads tend to stick to the traditional male role by providing back up to mum, chip in when asked or needed to, and tend to ‘mind the kids’ vs. ‘interact with the kids’ when left in charge of their care.
- Super-Sub Dads are also the primary breadwinner but also relief caregivers for a partner who is not working or working full or part time. Super-Sub Dads are eager caregivers outside of work, employ a ‘tag team’ system of parenting on weekdays and equal caregiving on weekends, and are willing to take on more traditional female tasks.
- Carer Dads are the primary caregivers, are only occasionally or not the breadwinner, and have a partner that works full or part time. Carer Dads feel responsible for the care of the children, enjoy being in the caregivers role, are hands on and proactive, and ignore gender bias as it pertains to parenting. Carer Dads typically have the greatest breadth of responsibilities compared to Provider or Super-Sub Dads.
“Marketers and programmers can form a deeper connection with Australian dads by moving away from portraying them as dim-witted and helpless to a more accurate depiction as hands-on, engaged and emotionally connected parents,” adds Kirsty Bloore.
For more information, please contact:
Nickelodeon Australia & New Zealand
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