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Dads increasingly shape kids' online habits

Dads increasingly shape kids' online habits

Changing work habits are seeing the current generation of dads playing a more active role in the life of their children than their fathers, new research from has found.

As men increasingly receive paternity leave they are spending more and more time at home influencing their children’s media consumption habits.

The sway of mums still dominates in many households in the UK, but increasingly their partners are having more involvement in shaping behaviour.

The OMD Insight research found that parents find media a valuable tool in facilitating family time and family communication.

Dads are helping to foster kids online behaviour by surfing with their children as opposed to indulging in traditional playtime pursuits, according to new findings from OMD.

Gone are the days when fathers would fly a kite in the park, or go for a bicycle ride. Instead a new generation of dads are more like to be found in front of the computer monitor or laptop with their kids.

Dads have been found to connect with their children more through online games than mums. Just 32 per cent of mothers play online games with their kids once a week, as opposed to 42 per cent of fathers.

Kids also spend fractionally more time using e-mail with their dads (19 per cent) than their mums (18 per cent) once a week.

Search still comes tops for dads when on the internet. Respondents said it was their main reason for logging on during the past six months, with 84 per cent using the platform. E-mail and news/weather were the second most channels, used by 79 per cent.

Two thirds (66 per cent) admitted however that they had used the internet to search for parenting and child information. It falls short of the 89 per cent of women who searched for the same subject, but is significant all the same.

OMD found that parent and child related activity on the internet tends to be information orientated with both mums and dads looking at sites to help with parenting, schoolwork, health and nutrition.

Both dads and mums equally recognise the value of the internet for their children, but also want to monitor and value usage.

The majority of parents (70 per cent) felt is was important to monitor their childrens’ online activity but were glad the resource was there to help with their schoolwork.

Some 68 per cent also felt it was important for their children to use the internet and technology with other issues.

For more information please contact Jo Rigby, Research Director, EMEA, Tel direct: +44 20 7908 3532, email:

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