About 60 percent of local dads are under rather high pressure, with money, work and family being the biggest causes of stress, according to the findings of a street survey conducted by the Collective Wisdom Policy Centre.
The centre announced the survey results on Friday in a press conference hosted by the centre’s Vice President Chan Ka Leong and Macau General Union of Neighbourhood Associations’ Social Affairs Committee Deputy Director Tam Man Kin.
The survey, carried out last month, interviewed 1,160 dads, who are either married divorced or separated with children, have children but are not married, or are widowers with children. All the respondents were aged at least 31.
According to the finding, about 60 percent of the dads said they were “under rather high pressure”, and because of this, they become short-tempered, depressed and easily get into arguments with their family.
While dads are under pressure, the survey found that just 38 percent of them would talk about it with their wife, while others do exercise, sleep and go out with friends to de-stress. Some 10 percent said they couldn’t find any way to help them relieve the pressure.
The survey also found that 60 percent of the respondents spend less than two hours a day with their wife and children – because they are too busy with work, have lots of networking after work, or want to have their own personal time.
The findings also show that 20 percent of the respondents said that their children never confide in them, and almost half the total respondents said that when they talk to their children, they care more about how their children are doing at school, their morals and career prospects than anything else.
“In reality, what children love most is to be able to talk to their parents about everything big or small happening in their life,” the survey concluded, suggesting that there is still lots to learn about having quality time and communication between fathers and children.
In addition, the fact that dads are dealing with stress on their own reflects that local families are still affected by the traditional way of thinking where men need to be strong and place importance on “having face”, a concept in Chinese culture which can be closely defined as “dignity” or “prestige”, and cannot let people know that they are feeling low nor show that they are down, which could lead to self negligence and under-estimating their own psychological needs that could affect the relations with their family, according to the findings.