Type to search

Nickelodeon research reveals the changing nature of fatherhood and evolving approaches to educating preschoolers

Technology & Data

Nickelodeon research reveals the changing nature of fatherhood and evolving approaches to educating preschoolers


Nickelodeon has released two new research reports that reveal changing attitudes towards fatherhood and how families raise the next generation of children.

‘Wait Until your Father Gets Home’ uncovers a shifting perspective on what fatherhood means to male respondents, the dissipation of the traditional role as a disciplinarian, as well as the effects of evolving gender-roles and impacts based on work pressures. The research also explored the portrayal of fathers in the media.

Findings include:

  • 42% of dads agree that the media portrays dads as stupid or clueless,
  • 56% say marketers and programmers need to adapt and evolve to more accurately reflect their involvement in household and parenting roles,
  • 50% say the media should depict them as nurturing and caring, and being needed as well as mothers,
  • 78% believe they are doing a good job, and
  • 44% believe there is a disconnect between the expectations of fathers at home and expectations at work.


“Marketers and programmers can forge deeper connections with Australian dads by moving away from portraying them as dim-witted and helpless to a more accurate depiction as hands-on, engaged and emotionally connected parents,” says Kirsty Bloore, Viacom International Media Networks senior director of research for Asia Pacific.


‘Little Big Kids: Preschoolers Ready for Life’ research looks at children aged two to five, and how their parents prepare them for an ever-changing world.

“Every few years, an entirely new group of pre-schoolers come of age, making it critical to examine and re-examine this important life stage,” says Christian Kurz, senior vice president of global consumer insights at Viacom.

“We’re seeing how shifts in parenting are impacting pre-schoolers today, and noting trends that will continue to impact them as they grow into kids, teens and adults.”

The results highlighted three key trends in current pre-school parenting: learning through doing, learning through play, and learning through tech.

Learning through doing centres around the move away from a sheltered style of teaching in an aim to prepare children for an uncertain future by exposing them to a variety of experiences.

  • 77% of Australian parents believe children should learn through their own experiences, and
  • 70% of parents say they always listen to their child’s opinion before making a decision that affects them.


Learning through play

  • 72% say they believe their pre-schoolers learn best through play, and
  • 82% encourage their children to play outside.


Learning through tech

  • 64% of parents believe it’s important for their kids to keep up with tech developments,
  • across the world, 65% of preschoolers have access to a tablet, which they interact with for 1.3 hours per day on average,
  • at 10 hours per week, Australian preschoolers interact with tablets less than the global average of 14 hours,
  • worldwide, 61% of parents are worried about their children coming across inappropriate content online and 53% think too much time spent on devices can interfere with learning and development, and
  • 61% believe technology is making their children smarter.


For ‘Little Big Kids: Preschoolers Ready for Life,’ Viacom spoke with 6500 families – mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings – of pre-schoolers across 12 countries including Australia.

For ‘Wait Until your Father Gets Home’ the company conducted qualitative group discussions, 14 face-to-face interviews and over 900 online surveys in Australia between 23 December 2016 and 10 January 2017.

Nickelodeon Australia is a division of Viacom International Media Networks.

Ben Ice

Ben Ice was MarketingMag editor from August 2017 - February 2020

  • 1

You Might also Like

Leave a Comment