"When they’re asked about the time they spend with their children, dads are much more likely than moms to say it’s not enough."
This is a Pew survey talking and it is all about the guilt our grown kids feel about the limits on the time they have to spend with their children. (The study was published in the April 2015 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family).
For those of us with grown sons who are dads, the finding is of particular interest. It helps explain where we--not necessarily the editorial "we" but the Paterfamilias and I "we"--are on our children's pay-attention pole. Not that we're ignored but unless there's a problem or we express a need, we are fourth in line (after spouse, children and career) for attention. By attention I mean communication, which includes phone calls, emails, texts and visits. When we're together, we feel the love. But when everyone's back in their respective homes, we feel like we've dropped off their radar screen. Most of our friends admit to the same dynamic--especially those who, like us, have children living far from home.
The priorities for attention are as they should be. They were the same for us when our children were young and our parents may have longed for a little more attention.
What seems different is the extent to which so many more young father's feel the tug of home life. It's a generational shift. What we've observed--of our own situation and those of our friend's--is that our sons are much more involved in child rearing and in overall family life including household chores, than their fathers were.
If you're interested, here are the survey stats in two charts: