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Fixing broken bikes and toys and making dens are considered dads’ jobs – while deciding what the children should wear, shopping for clothes and baking cakes are mums’ main responsibilities, it has been revealed. A study of 2,000 parents revealed the main roles of mum and dad in the average British household and showed dad’s duties are still more manual jobs.
Other regular jobs which land in dad’s laps include finding and putting batteries into toys, and sorting out the children’s technology issues.
Dads are also completely in charge of acting like a monster, when required, climbing trees, riding bicycles and sleeping in a tent in the back garden.
The study indicated mums are more likely to be the authority when it comes to the children’s wardrobe, what they eat, administering medicines and getting the children ready for school.
Peter Fuller, spokesman for Mega Bloks Barbie Build and Style range of building toys, which carried out the study, said:
“In many households, dads are now as hands-on as mums, when it comes to looking after the children.
”But, as this study indicates, the roles of mums and dads are very different.
”Mums tend to be in control of the daily routine, working out what the children need for their school day, organising the meal plan for the week, stepping in when they hurt themselves and taking charge if the children are poorly.
“Dads are just as practical as mums, but in a different way. So, in many families, mum will set aside faulty toys, punctured footballs and broken bicycles for dad to sort when he gets home.”
The study also revealed dads are responsible for the sporty side of things, like having a kick-around, alongside sorting out wheels on bikes and scooters.
As well as fixing toys and bicycles, mums rely on dads to fix pushchairs, build robots as instructed, and make models.
Sports clubs are also firmly in dads’ domain, although mum is more likely to take the children to art, drama or music lessons.
In addition to the daily chores, which include packing the bags for school, washing, cooking and ironing, changing beds and the school run, mums also sing nursery rhymes, initiate arts and crafts and style their children’s hair.
It also emerged two thirds of parents said their children assume dad is better at making and constructing things, while mum is the main cook and cleaner in the house.
More than half of those polled said their kids would run to dad if a toy broke or fell apart, while two thirds would run to mum if they hurt themselves or felt ill.
But, despite dads being responsible for more of the ‘fun activities’ and playtime, a third of parents think mum plays with the children more, while 52% give the children exactly the same amount of attention.
Three out of ten dads admitted they were more likely to play with sons than daughters, and more than half of those polled thought it would be good if toy companies came up with products for girls that would have more appeal to dads.
But, despite parenting roles being different in many respects, there are some jobs which mum and dad are happy to share.
Attending parents evenings, disciplining the children, bedtime stories and cuddles are shared by most parents.
Pete Fuller added:
”This study has backed up our belief that dads are becoming much more hands-on in bringing up children than perhaps in days gone by.
”Yet, they still assume fairly stereotypical roles.”
TOP 20 ‘DAD’S JOBS’
1. Fixing bicycles
2. Fixing toys
3. Putting together construction toys
4. Riding bicycles
5. Kicking a football around the garden
6. Making models
7. Sorting out wheels on scooters and bikes
8. Driving cars
9. Building towers
10. Making dens
11. Building robots
12. Fixing pushchairs
13. Finding and putting batteries in toys
14. Sorting out the kid’s technology
15. Climbing trees together
16. Unpacking toys
17. Playing monsters
18. Sleeping in a tent in the back garden
19. Teaching the children how to use gadgets around the house
20. Taking the children to sports clubs
TOP 20 ‘MUM’S JOBS’
1. Deciding what the children should wear
2. Clothes shopping
3. Baking cakes for school fetes
4. Styling the children’s hair
5. Taking kids to the doctor
6. Packing bags for school
7. Washing and ironing kids’ clothes
8. Cooking meals
9. Getting up in the night
10. Administering medicines
11. Changing beds
12. Initiating arts and crafts
13. Introduce the children to cooking and baking
14. School run
15. Filling out school paperwork
16. Having friends round for tea
17. Cuddles when they hurt themselves
18. Dressing up
19. Singing nursery rhymes
20. Taking the children to art / drama / music clubs