More dads are becoming active in parenting: Centre for Fathering

SINGAPORE — The proportion of dual-income families is on the rise in Singapore, making it challenging for many mothers today to balance their work and family commitments, the Centre for Fathering said in a press statement yesterday.

There were about 66 per cent of such households in 2015, compared with about 46 per cent in 2000, statistics from the Ministry of Social and Family Development showed.

The centre added that while fathers are increasingly stepping up and becoming more active in raising and spending time with their children, traditional gender roles tend to prevail among married working couples — where women contribute more to caregiving and household chores and men contribute more to household finances.

Urging parents to move beyond these traditional roles and mindsets, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said: “Our role as fathers is irreplaceable. It is important that we set aside more time for our children and make our family a priority. When we fathers consciously make time to parent and bond with our children, we can enjoy greater family-life satisfaction and better child outcomes.”

Mr Tan was speaking yesterday at the Dads for Life Camp, organised by the Centre for Fathering to encourage father-child bonding.

More than 400 father-child pairs — the boys and girls were aged at least seven — camped overnight on Sunday in front of the Singapore Flyer.

They pitched and decorated their two-men tents and took part in a night walk. Yesterday, they went on a 3km-long Family Route March around the Esplanade Park, led by Mr Tan.

The camp is part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for National Service, held in conjunction with the Army Open House at the F1 Pit Building. The camp participants also had an all-access pass to the open house, which started on Saturday.

The camp was open only to fathers who served as national servicemen and have served in the Defence Ministry or the Ministry of Home Affairs, or are current servicemen.

Mr Richard Hoon, chairman of the Centre for Fathering, said that the children who took part may get “a glimpse of what their fathers did to protect their country”.

“An engaged father committed to building resilient families couldn’t be more important,” he added.

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