Research: Dads Say They Spend Too Little Time With Their Children
With current child custody trends favoring mothers, many fathers often can be left wondering how their children are doing at any given time. Are they eating healthy enough? How are they doing in school? Do they think about their dad?
Without the opportunity to spend time with their children, many fathers do not get to have these questions answered. Many are forced to deal with the effects of parental alienation, and other children are forced to believe that their fathers gave up on them.
The amount of time that fathers get to spend with their children has been a constant point of contention for advocacy groups and has been subject to many studies.
The Pew Research Center recently found that while fathers in the United States are spending more time caring for their children, 63 percent of them say they spend too little time with their children, according to their American Trends Panel.
In comparison, 53 percent of mothers say that they are satisfied with the amount of time that they spend with their children, while 35 percent of mothers say they spend too little time with them.
The study considers the various issues that can cause either parent to spend time away from their children. According to the study, 62 percent of fathers and 54 percent of mothers cite work obligations as the main reason why they do not spend enough time with their children.
Interestingly enough, 20 percent of fathers state that the main reason why they spend such little time with their children is that they do not live with them full-time. This finding interacts with the fact that 24 percent of fathers are living apart from one of their children of the ages 17 or younger and 17 percent are living apart from all of their children.
These trends represent the difficulties that many fathers face. Many feel that during child custody hearings, they are tasked with proving that they are not a bad parent, no matter how good or bad of a parent the mother may be.
By acting in this regard, fathers can sometimes feel that the courts are not necessarily acting in the best interests of the child. While it is understandable to feel this way, complaining about how you feel they are acting will not win your case for you and will not get you the time you desire to be a parent to your child.
Trust the process
The process of getting to spend more time with your child starts with hiring a lawyer who will act in your best interests and the best interests of your child. From there, you will meet with them to discuss the process of getting more parenting time with your child, as well as your expectations and goals during this experience.
After a hearing is scheduled, you and your attorney will have the opportunity of pleading your case, citing facts regarding your life, your finances, your behavior, and what type of parent you have been during your limited time. From there, a verdict will be issued either way.
The process of gaining the comfort and trust of your child may not be easy, but going through the challenges of their adjustment period is the only way to be the parent that they need moving forward.
Caution and commitment
There can be dangers in this situation that many parents with limited exposure to their children struggle with during this adjustment period. There may be an impulse to become a Disneyland Dad and spoil their child with gifts, vacations, and fun moments, in order to get the child to feel affection toward them.
As easy as it may be to earn their affection through these gestures, that is not necessarily what being a parent is all about. Being a parent means that you are there whether they like you or not. The challenges of not being able to spend time with your child may be difficult, but the road to a better future and a better relationship with your child will require the same level of endurance and commitment.