Professor Encourages Dads to Set Clear Boundaries Between Work and Home

It’s not just working moms who struggle to find work-life balance—working dads are often overlooked in the conversation about this issue.

“Many of today’s modern dads want to be a central figure in their children’s lives, but the boundary between home and work has been blurred due to the impact of technology,” said Priscilla Blanton, professor of child and family studies at UT. “Americans are working longer work weeks, and this increase is even greater for working dads in managerial or professional positions.”

According to Blanton, setting limits on screen time is key.

“The best way to create a clearer boundary between work and family is to unplug,” said Blanton. “It’s easy to work all the time when you always have a smartphone in your pocket, but allowing work demands to extend around the clock means you are not fully present with your children.”

Finding work-life balance does not have to be costly. Some budget-friendly ideas to get dads spending more time with their children are to go outside, walk the neighborhood, play ball, or build a homemade fort.

“Being active is a great way to enhance the mental and physical health of everyone in the family,” said Blanton. “Children can be negatively impacted when their dads come home stressed, irritable, and unavailable to them. We know men can be reluctant to seek help to manage their stress and overall health, but learning to ask for help and prioritizing demands is a great start.”

CONTACT:

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)