Nine out of 10 dads want a better work-life balance

Research for the makers of the Tripp Trapp chair reveals men feel trapped


Shocking new research has again underlined the way work isn’t satisfying men or their families.

A survey of 2000 parents found nine out of 10 dads want more time with their families. The main thing keeping men from being more present in their children’s lives is work.

The survey, carried out for Swedish makers of nursery stuff Stokke, found only a third described the time they spend with their families as quality time. And their kids aren’t any happier. 27% of dads said their children complain all the time that they aren’t spending enough time together, two thirds of children agreed they want more time with their parents.

Stine Brogaard from Stokke says: “You can’t estimate the power of time with your child.  You don’t need to spend lots of money to enjoy quality time with your little one – you can get outside in the park, enjoy the library and, most importantly, cook and eat with them every day.  Having that family time, where you sit together and listen to one another’s days is so important so that parents can bond with their children, watch and help their development – and ensure they’re eating the right things.  It’s so easy to get distracted in this modern day but the most important things are usually right there in front of us.”

Oddly, the research also asked parents who the bossiest person in the household is. Most parents identified their children as ruling the roost. The bossiest children are apparently in Oxford.

Fulfilling family time

Stokke is most famous for its iconic Tripp Trapp chair that can be adapted as children grow from a high chair to a child’s seat.

The firm reckon they can help families have a more fulfilling time together. Stine Brogaard offered these top tips for becoming closer to your child:

1. Don’t take time for granted. Instead of booking playdates for your child when you have the day off, make it quality mother/daughter or father/son time, doing something together that you both want to do.

2. Ask your child questions; find out what their favourite things to do are. A child’s taste changes so much over time so it’s important to keep on track and do things that reflect this.

3. Share passions – find something that you are passionate about and encourage your child to get into it too. Even better if it’s something you can do together, whether that’s reading, walking, or playing a sport such as football or tennis. This will make it much easier to find time for each other that you’ll enjoy. Though read the signs if they don’t enjoy it, you can’t force these things!

4. Cook together. Eating is (usually!) something we do every day, so cooking together is a fantastic way to have fun together, give your child responsibility and educate them about food.  Give them set tasks, let them choose what they’d like to cook and encourage them. Seeing the family appreciate the food you’ve created together will be something very special to them and give them confidence.

5. Make the most of the shorter windows of time. We all have very busy lives, always going from A to B whether that’s school, work, extra-curricular classes or friends’ houses. If you’re travelling together, make sure you pay your child your full attention and make an effort to understand what’s gone on in their day and share snapshots of your own. The most important thing is to laugh together, and find ways to have fun, wherever you are – no matter how little time you have.

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