While some children are looking forward to Father’s Day today, more than half of young students who responded to a poll conducted by the Child Welfare League Foundation are vexed by their distant relationships with their dads.
When asked for how long they usually speak with their fathers every day, 53.4 percent of respondents said less than 30 minutes, 29.4 percent said for no more than 10 minutes, while a handful — 4 percent — of those polled said they often do not speak with their dads at all.
The poll also found that more than half of respondents’ fathers are not at home for dinner every day, while 24 percent said their dads only make it home for dinner less than two nights a week and 34 percent said their fathers normally arrive home after they are asleep.
However, even when not tied up at work, the survey found that only 29.9 percent of fathers take their children on an outing, compared with 60 percent of dads who prefer sitting at home and watching TV with their kids.
While some children consider their fathers to be perfect dads, about 27.8 percent of those polled said they hope their fathers can quit smoking and drinking, while 14.8 percent said they wish their dads could become more temperate, 11.9 percent hope their parents can stop quarreling and 6.9 percent want their dads to stop being workaholics.
Regarding the most worrying things about their fathers, 41.5 percent of respondents cited overwork, 36.8 percent said health problems and 34.3 percent said bad habits, such as drinking, smoking and gambling.
However, despite their fathers’ imperfections and shortcomings, the majority of respondents still made positive appraisals of their dads, with 66.1 percent giving their fathers a grade of higher than 90 out of 100 and 27.2 percent giving them full marks.
On average, respondents gave their fathers a score of 87.1.
Additionally, nearly 54 percent of those polled believe they have a healthy relationship with their fathers, while 43 percent think their dads are supportive of them.
Reassuringly, 78 percent of respondents said they would be willing to stick with their own fathers, even if they were allowed to pick a celebrated male figure — such as Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) or Taiwanese pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民) — to be their dads.
The foundation urged fathers to improve their relationships with their children by adopting the “333 plan,” which requires them to find three separate occasions a day to spend with their kids, to dine with their children three times a week and to plan a family day out three times a month.
The poll, conducted between May 16 and June 14, collected a total of 1,291 valid samples from children aged between 10 and 12 and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.