Fathers should be more active parents and support their wives in parenting

Fathers should take on a more active role in parenting and supporting their spouses, who generally face higher levels of work-life conflict.

This was the conclusion drawn from a recent study done by the Fathers Action Network (FAN) which examined how fathers balanced their parenting duties with their work duties. The results were revealed at the 4th annual Dads For Life conference on Friday.

The study was conducted with 1,098 working individuals, including 617 fathers and 211 mothers. It found, for example, that managers were more supportive when male employees needed time out for family matters than female employees (92% of male respondents compared to 86% of female respondents). 74% of male respondents also indicated that managers cared about the effects that work demands have on personal and family life as opposed to 69% of female respondents.

The 4th annual Dads for Life conference also included a keynote speech by chairman of the non-profit Fellowship of Fathers and former United States consul Gregory Slayton who called for greater involvement of fathers in the lives of their children.

He told a 400-strong audience: "Nobody dies wishing they had spent more time in the office. You have to put the needs of your family first and provide emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical support."

Slayton's keynote address was followed by a panel discussion in which questions were fielded from the floor.

The panel comprised Slayton, radio DJs Brian Richmond and Joe Augustin, comedian Suhaimi Yusof, Senior ParentCraft assistant director Mrs Wong Boh Boi and Meta president Dr John Ng.

qnwong@sph.com.sg