Dad’s the word as Irish children increasingly talk to their fathers about their problems
Two thirds of children feel they can talk to their fathers about things that bother them
The stereotype of the uncommunicative Irish father is becoming old hat according to a report which shows that Irish children are increasingly able to talk to their fathers about their problems.
A report examining trends in the health behaviour of school-aged children carried out every four years from 1998 to 2010, asked children aged between 10 and 17 how easy it was to talk to their fathers about things that really bother them.
In 1998 less than half said they found it “easy” or “very easy” to do so. However 12 years later more than two thirds of Irish children felt they could talk to their fathers about their problems.
The report on Health Behaviour in School-aged Children also found Irish mammies are still a good sounding board: the 2010 study showed 81.7 per cent of children found it “easy” or “very easy” to talk to their mother about things that bothered them compared to 74 per cent in 1998.
The findings were among a number of trends identified in a report comparing four previous studies carried out in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010.
It showed that 91 per cent of children surveyed in 2010 reported that they were “very happy” or “quite happy” with life compared to 89 per cent in 1998.
Despite this almost a quarter of children reported feeling low at least weekly in the six months preceding the study, a rate highest among girls aged between 15 and 17, 36.8 per cent of whom reported feeling low regularly.
However, children feel increasingly pressured by school work: while a third reported feeling pressured at school in 1998 that figure rose to 39 per cent in 2010.
The number of girls dieting decreased from 17.9 per cent in 2002 to 16.9 per cent in 2010. Dieting was most prevalent among those aged between 15 and 17, one in five of whom said they were on a diet in 2010.
The report showed too that, while 91.4 per cent of Irish children lived with both parents in 1998, less than three quarters, or 73.7 per cent lived with both parents in 2010.