With the glow of the Father’s Day weekend still fresh in our minds, a new survey says that Dad isn’t giving himself as much credit as moms think he should. The survey by Sullivan Higdon & Sink (SHS), an integrated brand experience firm with a practice area focused on marketing to men, asked 150 fathers and 150 mothers across the country about their perceptions of fatherhood. The results revealed that moms are significantly more likely to “strongly agree” that their husbands are good fathers (70.3%), while just over half of dads concur with the statement. “Today’s dads still feel the pressure of old provider stereotypes. But they’re saying they want to spend more time with their kids than their dads did with them,” says SHS senior vice president, executive creative director John January. “Time is money, and dads feel pressure to provide both in ample amounts. When those goals compete with one another, dads worry they’re not delivering.” The survey also revealed that:

  • Dad really is an old softie. Turns out dads don’t love the disciplinarian role. Marketers and moms can help dads embrace their sensitive side.
  • Dad is wary of the media and pop culture. Dads are significantly more likely than moms to see pop culture and the media as an obstacle to parenting. 79% of dads strongly agree that being a good father is a defining trait, and the stereotype of the detached, out-of-touch father should be discarded. Successful marketers will establish themselves as his ally.
  • Dad is even more stressed out about money than we thought. In this survey, dads were much more likely than moms to see financial obligations as an obstacle to parenting. Affordable indulgences that promote family togetherness have high appeal.

Among those fathers surveyed, a smaller percentage will be spending time with their own dad this Father’s Day when compared with last year. There has been an increase in fathers who will be grilling out and calling their children this year when compared to last year. This indicates the effect that the economy is having on Father’s Day, as more dads are inclined to cook out instead of visiting a restaurant, and fewer dads are likely to incur the travel cost to visit their own father.

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