Modern man; he admits to loving his children

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men, man, fathers, dads, Dove, Dove Men+Care


Think back to your own childhood. How often did your dad (or your mum even) tell you they loved you?

It’s a very emotive question. I grew up in a step-family scenario so it’s not entirely straightforward for me to answer.

The results of a new survey from grooming brand Dove Men+Care suggest us modern dads are much more likely to tell their offspring how much they love them. I’m not going to pretend this surprises me, I don’t think there’s any question of my peers being much happier to express their true feelings than previous generations.

I was, however, a little surprised at the strength of emotions that were expressed. The survey was carried out online among 1,450 people.

It found that;

  • 67% of guys admitted to loving their children more than their partner
  • 66% of men tell their children they love them every day
  • 16% of men claim their own father has never told them they love them
  • Men are at their most caring at the age of 53 while for women it’s at the age of 40
  • Of those surveyed, 38% of men carry out an average of 10 tasks a day to benefit their family including handling the kids’ bath time (30%), reading bed time stories (35%) and cooking for the family (27%).

Callum Galloway, Brand Manager of Dove Men+Care interpreted the statistics thus: “It is clear to see that the modern definition of ‘masculinity’ has developed over the years with men expressing their emotions and doing more than ever to provide for their family, showing that care does make a man stronger.”

I think this survey has to be seen in context. This is not a piece of academic research, it’s a survey carried out of a reasonably small sample. Even so, I feel it it makes for interesting reading and confirms what many people already think; men are opening up emotionally and getting more involved with their families.

What’s your opinion? Do you think modern dads are more willing to show their emotions than older ones? Do you tell your kids daily that you love them and would you admit to loving your children more than your other half? Please feel free to leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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45 thoughts on “Modern man; he admits to loving his children”

  1. Wow that research is very interesting! Although quite shocking how many men say they love their children more than their partners. I think it’s fantastic that men are more involved in the family environment – helps me out a lot! But if I look back at my childhood, I would have to say that Dad did everything for me – I grew up with Dad & Taid (grandad) rather than with my Mam.

    1. I think it’s great that dads are getting more invovled with family life. It can only be a positive thing. Interesting that you grew up with your dad and grandfather. I imagine this gives you a different perspective to many other people. Thanks for commenting

  2. I can say that a) My parents have never told me (that I remember) they love me, and b) I tell my daughter “I love you” multiple times every day.

    Now my 3yo is an established Star Wars fangirl, the appropriate family response to an “I love you” has become “I know”. 🙂

    1. I am in a very similar situation Simon. Glad you both enjoy Star Wars. May it last into her teens and beyond!

  3. I wonder if it was meant to say that they love their partners less than their children, or that they tell their children more often.

    It does seem to confirm that the tide is changing, men are more emotionally open and participate in the day to day activities a lot more than we used to. Which makes sense considering that the time of the single bread-winner family is dying. Today, a single bread-winner family = a single parent.

    1. This just makes me thing of a certain Bob Dylan song! Thanks for commenting Caleb, do visit the blog again.

    1. You’re probably right John, so long as you felt loved, that is very important. It’s maybe a personal thing but I do like the idea of mums and dads being more open with their kids.

  4. Very interesting post John. My step father never showed his emotions, ever. My husband never got much from his folks either. Maybe because of this, we are both very tactile and tell the kids we love them all the time…

    1. Mummy Tries – this is so true.

      Even now at 33, my parents seem incapable of using those three words. I personally wanted to do all the things my parents didn’t, so telling my kids I love them every day (even when they are being super difficult) is a must.

      1. I think it is probably harder for parents to say those words as they get older, espescially if they didn’t when younger. There’s defo a generational thing here, parents love their kids just as much, but older mums and dads find it more difficult to express.

    2. That could be it. I also think us “younger” parents (not a term necessarily accurate in my case!) just are more open and have a different approach with their kids. I think it’s a positive step.

  5. My dad is an awesome man and did everything for us but to this day he doesn’t say he loves us, it’s just not the done thing for him. He is SO SO different with his grandkids though, he’s definitely melted over the years. My husband is completely different and will shower z with a heap of kisses.

    1. I’m sure both your dad and husband are both great guys, mereley expressing thmeselves differently. It is interesting to see how different generations react and express themselves. thanks for commenting.

  6. I do agree that many men are more open about their love for their children although a lot of fathers in the past felt the love but expressed it in other ways, because it was not the done thing to say it. I am so happy that fathers take a more active role in their children’s lives than when I was younger. Everyone benefits! #MMWBH

    1. You’re right, I think everyone does benefit when dad is invovled in family life. It is a generational thing I think; older parents just didn’t say the words even if they felt the emotions.

  7. I think this pretty much tallies with my experience. I know my dad loves me and he has found many non-verbal ways to express it, but I don’t think he has ever actually said it. (Having said that, I’m not sure my mother has said it many times either.)

    I certainly tell my kids I love them on a daily basis. What’s even more gratifying is that each of them will do the same to me at random moments in the day as well. I’m not a particularly emotional person (I am a massive introvert, after all) but I do consider it important to share my feelings with them, so that they become comfortable with their own emotions too.

    1. A massive introvert? Since when did a massiv eintrovert write a blog as succesful as yours??!! Anyway, in a strange way it tallies with my experiences too. I totally get what you’re saying, nothing brightens up my day more thanthe kids doing some act of random kindness.

  8. Wow, an interesting mini survey! I must admit, my relationship with my Dad isn’t the best. My step-dad however is a massive influence on my life, he has never told me he loves me, but I can tell by the way he handles our relationship.

    I would consider myself a completely different Dad, I will tell my daughter that I love her before she falls asleep, I read her the bed time story and complete the bath time routine. I also cook for the family after completing by 12 hour day, I may grumble sometimes that I don’t get any time for myself, but I will still give everything for my family. Having a daughter has completely changed my outlook on life, it’s no longer just about me and my needs. My family is everything to me, it’s funny how things change just because of one small (very loud, but utterly beautiful) person.

    1. Things change massively when you have a little one(s) to look after. I think we can all grumble, but I like ot beleive us involved dads can see through the rubbish.

  9. I think you it is far easier for dads to admit/show their love for their kids in modern times, and in fact it is more frowned upon to not do so than do so (where as the opposite was true over previous generations, signs of emotion were signs of weakness for some reason).

    Thanks for linking with #dadpostoftheweek

    1. Yup, you’re right. I think expressing emotions is now seen as a sign of strength and that can be no bad thing. Thnaks for hosting #dadpostoftheweek.

  10. I’d never thought of it as a common generational thing. I feel quite reassured. My mum finds it easier to say ‘lots of love’ like a letter sign-off instead of the more exposing ‘I love you’. My hubbos family are pretty unique though – they all tell each other they love each other all the time. Still haven’t quite figured out how to handle that quantity of open love. He’s also a modern dad for sure when it comes to expressing love for our girl – although not always when it comes to the little things, like remembering to feed her 🙂 – #brilliantblogposts

    1. Ha ha, yes feeding your kids is quite important. I’m sure, however, she’ll remember the positive expression of emotions rather than bneing hungry.

  11. Those mini survey figures are really interesting! My husband is really loving with the kids, as am I and we both tell them daily how much we love them. I don’t know how important the words are to hear if they’re still being shown that they’re loved, as in Scott’s comment. I can appreciate if you haven’t grown up being told you’re loved then it could be tricky to utter the words yourself / or for other reasons, but I think we do need to make our kids feel loved however that may be.

    1. Yes, kids must feel loved. I think the words are important, but they have to be sincere and backed up with action. It seems men are moving in this direction which can only be a good thing.

  12. That’s so interesting, but not actually very surprising as it seems like Dads these days are much more emotionally tuned to their kids than our own Dads, which I think can only be a good thing as will really help to foster positive relationships with their offspring, something I think is particularly important with girls who need to have had a healthy relationship with their Dad in order to foster healthy relationships with men as adults #TheList

    1. For me, it is all about fostering good relationships and also relationships where mum and dad are seen as equals in the kids’ eyes. This is so important.

  13. I think it is sad that people are surprised when men show so much affection and attention to their children. Hubby is lucky to work a 4 day schedule so he was able to take the baby to his weekly appointments when he had physical therapy while I had just returned to work and had no time off. People kept commenting how amazing it was that he is so involved, and I was shocked at their surprise.

    1. I, too, find it sad that people would be so surprised that a man is invovled with his children in such a way. As a stay at home dad, I fear it’s a sentiment I do come across from time to time. Thanks for commenting.

  14. Generalising, I think dad’s today are a lot more hands on and a lot more affectionate than dad’s of the 70’s and 80’s were. And I think it’s a good thing! Infact I think if you haven’t grown up with as much affection (and it hurts you) then you’d want to show it to your children more so! #wineandboobs

    1. I can think of older men who clearly love their children and grandchildren but have huge trouble expressing it. This shift in attitudes should be encouraged in my opinion an dI’m glad to see it is happening.

  15. I was very fortunate to have affectionate parents. Both my mum and dad would tell me they loved me and would always give me kisses and cuddles. I am very affectionate to my two children and so is my husband. Despite his parents not being as emotive. I realise I am very lucky to have a husband who is always willing to muck in when it comes to bedtime and bath times, even when he works long hours. Its great that men are feeling more comfortable with being emotive these days. A very interesting read. #bigfatlinky

  16. Absolutely, my dad still struggles with I Love You. TO Anyone really. Whereas my husband has surprised me in how great a father he is. Loving and attentive from day 1, I was expecting their relationship to develop over time. But then his father is very loving, and still is, huggy and kissy. So that could be where they get it from. We are lucky that men are now more in touch with their feelings.

  17. Excellent post, finally dads are telling there kids they love them I do every day. Thank you for sharing your post with us all.

  18. I’d be curious to see a further run down of the numbers to see if dads are likely to say it more often to daughters than to sons. I have a daughter and say it often, but I honestly don’t know if there would be a difference.

    1. It would indeed be very interesting to see the figures if broken down by gender. Good point ot raise Jeremy.

  19. What a great post. Times have changed and I think modern Dads DO say it more. My partner certainly says it more whereas my Dad NEVER says it. He’s a proud, traditional, keep-your-feelings-deep-inside sort of bloke! Haha! Great post John! Thanks so much for linking up with #MMWBH

    1. Times have changed hugely…but I’ve seen you write about your dad in glowing terms. The feelings are clearly there.

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