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Friday, 2 November 2007

Conservative think tank recommends fathers give higher priority to their children.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Maxim Institute, a New Zealand based conservative think tank, has come out with a report which says that:

Fathers should
* Take their share of responsibility for their children's wellbeing and development.
* Spend time with them, be supportive and involved.

Families should
* Reconsider factors that drive fathers to work long hours, such as the desire for higher living standards.

Employers should
* Accept and support their employees' commitments outside work.
* Allow flexible working hours and working from home where possible.

Social services should
* Communicate with fathers as well as mothers because both affect the child's development.

Society should
* Encourage fathers' involvement with their children from infancy.
* Give higher priority to marriage and committed relationships.

There are many criticisms that could be made regarding the way this compares with other statements from the Maxim Institute. We could point out that longer working hours are in many respects a result of the free-market economics that the Maxim Institute unequivocally champions. We could point out that they're recommending that parents put off buying a house, when home ownership is a standard level of independence and security in New Zealand, and that social programs which could make it easier to have the house and spend time with the kids would probably be opposed by the Maxim Institute. We could point out that some people can't afford a house or time with the kids, and that the Maxim Institute isn't likely to support helping those people, either.

But I just want to point out that this is a conservative think tank, here, looking at the research and deciding, not that mothers should go back to the home, but that fathers should meet them there. I just want to savour how far we've come.


L.L. Barkat said...

I love home. It's vibrant in a way that workplaces rarely approximate. Just my opinion, being a person who's done both sides. (I'm glad they're letting fathers in now. A step up for men, I think.)

Lynet said...

A step up for men, I think.

Indeed! I don't think I could ever be a stay-at-home mother, but I might enjoy being a part-time one. Then again, I don't know for sure that I'll ever be a mother at all, so maybe I'm getting ahead of myself...

If I ever do have kids, though, the best fun is going to be simply in seeing how they turn out. It'd be fascinating.

Kelly Gorski said...

You mean men should be more than sperm donors? That's insanity.