Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Tough being a parent today

Amy Wiggins.
Amy Wiggins.

Day-to-day life is changing rapidly and families are having to adapt to the demands of an increasingly fast-paced lifestyle.

A few years ago you would have heard of very few stay-at-home dads but it's becoming more and more common.

In Saturday's Bay of Plenty Times Weekend we told the story of father-of-six Hallam Woolfrey who is starting up a support group for other stay-at-home dads like himself.

It's neat to hear about dads taking such a big and hands-on role in bringing up their kids.

So many children these days grow up without a dad but fathers play a hugely important role in raising kids.

Children need both a mother and a father - they are equally important.

Sometimes that's just not possible, so solo parents have the incredibly difficult job of trying to play both roles.

Kids learn very different things from mums and dads.

Dads teach children to fix stuff, to play sports, to ride a bike, to fish, to hunt.

They teach you to be tough and independent.

Mums teach you to cook, to garden, to do your hair, to dress yourself and tie your shoelaces.

Most importantly they patch you up when you're hurt, hug you when you're down, teach you to care for others and to have compassion.

Men and women are wired differently, yes most of us can do the same things, but we think differently and have different strengths.

That's why families are so important.

Both parents need to take an active part in the lives of their children.

It is becoming harder to do with people expected to work longer hours.

Technology means that even when you're at home now you are expected to be checking emails and returning calls.

In many cases both parents have to work just to get by which also makes parenting a challenge.

I'm sure raising a family is not an easy task (and the world we live in is not making it any easier) but it's an incredibly important one.

All parents need to make sure their families are their top priority and find time to spend with their kids.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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