Although fathers are reporting being involved in their children’s lives more than ever before, the majority of them — about six in 10 — still say they spend too little time with their children, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
Survey: Highly educated dads spend most time with their children
The likelihood that you were able to spend time with your children increased based on your level of education, the survey found.
While half of fathers with a bachelor’s degree acknowledged that they were not getting enough time with their children, that number jumps up to 69% for fathers who did not complete college. This finding challenges the stereotype of the corporate father too busy crunching numbers in an office building to make time for his kids at home.
Fathers without a bachelor’s degree were the group most likely to report spending too little time with their children. They were also the group that was especially likely to report living apart from their children, with 28% reporting that they lived physically away from their kids compared to 8% of fathers with a bachelor’s degree or more reporting the same.
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) January 8, 2018
Helping dads get more involved in child care
When fathers are not involved in their children’s lives, it becomes both a family issue and a workplace one. For fathers, work obligations were listed as the top reason for missing time with their kids, according to the Pew Research Center survey. When men are women are seen as equally responsible for childcare, studies have found that there are economic and personal benefits for everyone.
Paid paternity leave is one potential solution to help fathers become more involved in childcare. One study on 10,000 children in the U.S. found that fathers who took two or more weeks of leave were more likely to be involved in daily childcare activities later on in the child’s life.