VICTORIAN dads feel confident, well connected and close to their kids, a new survey has found.
The Parenting Research Centre survey of 1044 fathers found eight out of 10 praise kids for doing well and twothirds talk to them about problems.
They don’t yell or smack much, know where their kids are if they’re not at school and set boundaries for safe internet use and free time.
More than eight out of 10 dads feel comfortable talking to their kids’ teachers, are confident in supporting their school transitions and know how to help their child do well at school.
Despite this, one in five has experienced depression or anxiety since having children, which affects their confidence. Of these, nearly one in 10 say they have experienced postnatal depression.
“When fathers experience mental illness, their children are at higher risk of behavioural and emotional difficult- ies,” Parenting Research Centre principal research specialist Dr Catherine Wade said.
The survey results also show just over half of the dads surveyed are satisfied with the time they spend with their kids, 40 per cent think they are too impatient, 32 per cent say they can be too critical with their kids and 31 per cent want to be consistent in their parenting.
Sandhurst dad Didier Coignet, 39, said he loved being a father to his daughters Emmeline, 5, and Scarlett, 3.
“It’s worth making the extra effort,” Mr Coignet said. “It’s an everlasting relationship. Your children are always going to be part of your life.”
Dr Wade said more ways to better engage dads in parenting support services and in early education and schools were needed to help them navigate confidently through parenting.
Didier Coignet with daughter Emma, 5. Picture: JAKE NOWAKOWSKI