Dads playing a more active role in parenting

With research findings showing the significant shift in the role of men in parenting, Hot Wheels celebrates the important part dads play in their children’s lives this Father’s Day. The new campaign reminds dads of their childhood, celebrates their connection with their children and champions the value of playing together.

As the definition of family changes amongst millennial parents, dads are now playing a more important role than ever in the upbringing of their children.

The new study reveals:

  • Aspirational role. Dads want to make a positive impact on their children’s lives more than ever before.
  • Value of quality ‘dad’ time. Dads are spending more and more time with their children.
  • Balancing responsibilities. Dads believe the responsibilities are split evenly in the household (but mums still see this differently!)
  • Childhood memories. Dads are more likely than mums to choose toys that remind them of their childhood or that can help build a connection with their child.

The campaign, dedicated to ‘Dads Who Never Need to Grow Up’, includes a video

that delves into children’s perceptions of dads and reveals that modern-day dads do know how to have fun and have the ‘cool’ factor that makes them fun to play with.

Says Chantelle Fritz of Blue Horizon Licensing, the exclusive representative of all Mattel Consumer Products in South Africa: “The aim of our global Hot Wheels campaign is to remind dads of their own childhood and having fun while at the same time reinforcing their connection with their children and the value of playing together.”

“Playing feeds kids’ imaginations and playing with important role models such as their parents, helps kids learn those critical life skills they need to create relationships, negotiate tricky situations, innovate, take risks and succeed in life. The Hot Wheels cars, track sets, remote control cars and other products available in our market epitomise fun, exploration and innovation in play. And of course, when you do it with dad, it’s triple rad.” says Fritz.

Liane Lurie, a Johannesburg-based clinical psychologist also sees the roles of millennial parents shifting from the old archetypes: “The gap is closing – two incomes have become essential so there is more sharing of childcare and household responsibilities. Dad is doing homework with the kids, putting them to bed, and generally spending more time with them. The focus is on creating a happy, healthy family and unstructured play is a crucial part of childhood development.”

While it is often natural for the mother to take the lead role when it comes to playing with the kids, she notes that they need to be careful not to give dad an easy out. “Father-child interaction and play are very necessary. At play, children learn to socialise and problem-solve. They take turns, learn to see things in different ways and will model the different approaches that mom and dad take,” says Lurie.

“Play in a safe, nurturing environment is crucial as it helps children learn new skills. If they are supported and encouraged, the skills they master during play will be applied in larger settings to address everyday challenges.”

“The Hot Wheels cars and track sets are ideal for this kind of play. Construction play helps kids solve problems, improve spatial perception and fine motor skills and of course, dad knows all the tricks to help in this area!”

2015 sees the launch of the Hot Wheels Track Builder System that offers the ultimate track experience. It allows kids to design, create and customise their very own track challenge, developing their own stories and adventures and expanding their worlds through Hot Wheels – if they can dream it, they can build it!

For Father’s Day, give dad something special – time out with the kids and Hot Wheels!

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