Gone are the days when nappies and the school run were women’s work as a new generation of fathers, including stay-at-home dad Andrew Pearce, relishes the chance to be more hands-on.

Ngala’s Keith Read said almost no fathers went to its parenting workshops 15 years ago but now men made up about one-quarter of attendees. It also runs sessions just for dads.

On Friday, Ngala will hold its first fundraising day in 100 years because of growing demand for its parenting services.

Mr Read, who runs Ngala’s DadsWA group, said there was a shift towards more actively involved fathers as research showed the advantages for children, especially in early years.

It pointed to specific benefits, particularly for children’s resilience, from the kind of care fathers tended to give such as tossing kids in the air.

Some were told this was “too rough” or not proper parenting and interpreted being involved as being more like mums.

“But kids don’t need another mum, ” Mr Read said. “If you use those little things that dads do, that particular humour, that physicality, scaring them, teasing a bit, there are huge benefits.”

Mr Pearce was in advertising and studying when wife Maria fell pregnant. They decided he would stay home with baby Emily Rose while she returned to social work four days a week.

“We decided we didn’t need a new car every two years, if we could have a great relationship and give the kids the best we could, ” he said.

Visit https://chuffed.org/project/ngala to donate.


© The West Australian

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