Sports moms and dad groups are having a hard time connecting on social media and the news of the NFL season.
A study released Wednesday shows sports moms are more likely to share stories of success with their children, but dads are more interested in how to help their children be successful in their sports.
More than 50 percent of dads surveyed by The Associated Press found they had heard from their kids about sports and/or were in contact with their kids in the past year.
But about half of moms said they had not.
The AP-NORC Center for Media and Democracy study, which analyzed 4,000 conversations on Facebook and Twitter, found sports moms were more likely than fathers to share positive sports stories and make sports a priority.
“We know that moms spend more time with their sons than fathers,” said Jennifer McBride, a research associate at the center.
“That’s a reason why dads are not getting as much input as they could be.”
The survey also found that dads were more interested than moms in sports.
About a third of dads said they played sports with their son or daughter, while more than a quarter of moms played with their own children.
But the researchers said the differences were not necessarily about the sports themselves, but about the parents who participated.
The study found sports were a way for dads to connect with their child.
“They get a sense that they can connect with the kids, even when it’s not the right conversation,” McBride said.
“They’re more engaged, they’re talking about it.”
Dads also said they wanted to help sons and daughters succeed.
About half of dads, or 45 percent, said they have coached their sons or daughters at a junior or senior level.
About 12 percent of moms, or 43 percent, coached their children.
More dads said their kids were motivated to compete in sports, while moms said their sons and daughter were less motivated to be active.
About 20 percent of sports moms said athletes like their kids are a blessing and help build a sense of community.
About 8 percent of fathers said they thought sports is an activity that makes them happy.
But some moms said fathers are more focused on how to take care of their kids.
“I don’t know why dads get more involved in sports than moms,” said Megan Richey, a sports mother from New York.
“It’s just a lot easier to make sure that when I’m out and about that the kids don’t get hurt.”
Richey said that for her, it was about helping kids to learn how to play.
“My kids have all of their own little skills, but I do it for them, too,” she said.
But she said it is important for moms to help them with their skills.
“The more kids are playing, the more they learn to be able to talk about it, the better it is for them,” Richely said.
“Don’t try to take everything from them.
It’s not easy.”