New survey shows men who don’t see their children much are still great fathers | Herald Sun

April 15, 2013
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Wheelers Hill father Sam Katakouzinos and his son Liam, 7years spend special times together. Picture: Janine Eastgate Herald Sun

MEN who don’t see their children much can still be terrific fathers, a new survey has found.

The study from the Parenting Research Centre has found it is the quality of the relationship that matters, not the amount of time spent together.

Academic Nina Lucas and her team examined the wellbeing of 302 eight- and nine-year-old children with a non-resident father.

They found dads are important, whether they live with their children or not.

The team found dads who live away from the family home can, in some cases, have better relationships with their kids than those who live at home.

“Fathers can enhance child wellbeing even if the time they spend with their child is limited,” Ms Lucas said. “Not all non-resident fathers fit the stereotype of being disengaged dads.”

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 22 per cent of children — just over a million — have a non-resident parent.

The study also found children from separated families have poorer mental health than those from intact families, but that separation itself is not to blame.

Rather, it is exposure to parental conflict, along with socioeconomic status and parental mental health, that makes things difficult for children.

Akiva Quinn, co-ordinator of the YMCA DadsLink program, said children “truly appreciate time spent with dad, engaging together in new experiences and being part of a friendly community”.

The study’s findings were welcomed by Wheelers Hill dad Sam Katakouzinos, who separated from son Liam’s mother about six years ago.

“The relationship you have to focus on is your child, and make sure you are really present when you are together,” he said.

Source: New survey shows men who don't see their children much are still great fathers (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/new-survey-shows-men-who-dont-see-their-children-much-are-still-great-fathers/story-e6frf7jo-1226621144665)

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