Taiwanese fathers score low in report card on relationship with their children

A "report card for dads" revealed that Taiwanese fathers fare poorly when it comes to interaction with their children.
A "report card for dads" revealed that Taiwanese fathers fare poorly when it comes to interaction with their children. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/TSAIINGWEN

TAIPEI (THE CHINA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Taiwanese fathers fare poorly when it comes to interaction with their children, according to a "report card for dads" released on Tuesday.

The survey, by the Child Welfare League Foundation, gives fathers an average score of 60 out of 100 for their relationship with their kids. The results are based on responses from school children polled.

The survey show that while children generally look up to their father, they do not feel that their father understands them.

Questionnaires were filled out by 1,730 school children from grades 5 to 8 during the period of April 10 to May 5.

Nearly 83 per cent of them describe their father as "great" and 71.6 per cent say they feel close to their fathers. However, only 64.8 per cent of the children surveyed say their fathers know them well.

Meanwhile, only 47.7 per cent say it is easy to share their problems with their dads. That is much lower than the 73.5 per cent international average reported in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, according to the Child Welfare League Foundation.

Fathers seem to be unable to fully communicate with their children - the survey finds that fathers talk to their kids mostly about daily chores and homework.

Around 44.7 per cent of respondents claim that what they hear most often from their father is "Go to sleep", followed by "Have you done your homework?" and "How did you do on the exam?"

Asked why they do not like talking to their father, the children list top reasons including their father's absent-mindedness, their tendency to lecture and their being distracted by electronic products.

Respondents who say they like talking to their dad cite reasons such as their willingness to listen, understand, care and encourage.

The report was released on Tuesday to coincide with Father's Day, which is celebrated in Taiwan on Aug 8 - a date that is homophonous with the Chinese term for father, or baba.

Marking the day, President Tsai Ing-wen published a post on social media remembering her late father.

"If he were still around, he would probably only tell me to take care of my health," she wrote. "Fathers are the ones who love us most but they are also the most reserved."