There are about 74 million children in America today and if you’re a parent, here’s something you should know: involved fathers—whether they live with their kids or not—can help their children lead happier, healthier and more successful lives. Children who feel close to their fathers are two times more likely to go to college or find a job after high school, 80 percent less likely to end up in jail and 50 percent less likely to experience depression.1 The small moments kids enjoy spending with their fathers can make a big difference in their lives. If you’re like most fathers, you’re already doing what you can to be a great dad. Here’s a look at five easy ways to keep it up.
What You Can Do
1. Spend time with your children.
2. Be a positive role model.
3. Send a text to stay connected when far away.
4. Read to your children.
5. Remember #DadJokesRule!
There has been a massive growth in fatherhood involvement over decades—fathers now spend nearly triple the amount of time with their children than fathers did in the 1960s.2
What Dads are Already Doing
Recent research suggests fathers are already very involved:
— 90 percent consider their role as a dad to be rewarding day in and day out.3
— 78 percent have talked to their child’s teacher about progress in school.4
— 61 percent have attended a PTA or other school meeting.5
— Over half have helped with a class trip, special project or activity.6
— Over a third of fathers have helped with coaching their children’s sports teams.7
Even though fathers are largely more involved than in previous generations, dads today still want to be more engaged. Nearly half say they don’t spend enough time with their kids and want to do a better job at parenting.8
To help more fathers understand the importance of their role in their children’s lives, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (@fatherhoodgov), and the Ad Council (@adcouncil) have partnered on a national Responsible Fatherhood Campaign.
“All dads should be supported and celebrated for their efforts on Father’s Day and year-round because we know how the story ends for the kids whose fathers show up for them consistently—these children and families thrive,” says Kenneth Braswell (@braswellkenneth), Director, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and Fathers Incorporated.
The campaign drives to Fatherhood.gov a free resource that offers information, tools and more. Dads can visit the website for ideas to get involved and stay involved in their children’s lives. Other resources include activity suggestions, homework help, online games and a long list of dad jokes! No matter how busy you may be, make time for your children. It only takes a moment to make a moment.