60 per cent of fathers feel closer to their kids due to lockdown measures: study

On this Father’s Day, a new study has revealed an unexpected silver lining to public health requirements during the pandemic.

According to the study, 60 per cent of Canadian dads feel closer to their kids as a result of COVID-19 lockdown measures, which have been providing them more time together.

The study, released by the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) as part of Canadian Men’s Health Week, found that in a survey of around 1,000 Canadian fathers conducted in May, dads were seeing positive changes in their dynamic with their children.

Forty per cent of the men surveyed reported that COVID-19 had caused their relationship with their children to improve, and more than half of the men said that they were more aware of their important role in their child’s life.

“We’re finding a new revelation of their experience with their children,” Wayne Hartrick, president of CMHF, told CTV News. “Some of them talked about almost in terms of falling in love with their kids all over again.”

One of the fathers who participated in the study, Dal Watson of Burnaby, B.C., said in a press release that while being off work since March was “stressful,” he’d also “been able to spend a lot more time” with his daughters.

The fathers surveyed also reported eating more meals with their children and actively providing guidance and companionship. Half of the men said they were inspired to be more involved in their children’s lives moving forward.

“If the COVID-19 lockdown accelerates the movement of dads to be more engaged with their children, that could be a lasting benefit from a tragic public health crisis,” said Dr. Larry Goldenberg, the founding chair of CMHF, in the press release.

Of course, physical distancing guidelines mean that not all fathers could be with their loved ones this Sunday.

This Father’s Day arrived in a tumultuous time for Canada and the world — the global pandemic and recent widespread protests against anti-Black racism shaped how celebrations occurred across Canada.

In Edmonton, a parade was held for the dads in a retirement home, so that these fathers could be celebrated while COVID-19 safety guidelines were observed.

And in Toronto, Black fathers took to the streets for ‘March of Dads’, created to shine a light on Black fatherhood, and to remember those who were not able to see their kids grow up.

One father planning to participate in the march told CTV News that Black men are affected by “gun violence, police brutality,” and that he wanted to set a good example for his son.

“I’m walking so when my son looks back on Father’s Day 2020, he knows we were standing for something,” he said. 

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