Study: Fathers Today Are More Involved, But Many Are Absent

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father and daughter napping in a hammock
Compared to years past, dads are more involved in parenting, but more are absent, too.

A father is an immensely important role—and dads must be figuring this out.

Through the years, fathers have become more and more involved in their children's lives. According to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center, and released just in time for Father's Day, dads are taking more active roles. In 1965, men spent just 2.6 hours a week with their kids. By 2000, that number rose drastically to 6.5 hours. (They must be coaching a lot of Little League and telling plenty of bedtime stories!)

Along those same lines, of fathers who live with their kids, 63 percent of dads said they helped with (or checked up on, for the super-bright youngsters out there) their children's homework at least several times a week, and 54 percent took their kids to and from games, practices and other activities multiple times a week. Let's hear it for all the Mr. Moms! Mr. Mom And Prince Charming: Can Men Be Both?

However, it's not all fabulous news. The study also showed that more fathers are absent from the home than ever before.

Today, 27 percent of children live apart from their dads, up from 11 percent in 1960 (by comparison, only eight percent of children live apart from their mothers). And of the kids who don't get to see their fathers daily, 48 percent only see them a handful of times a year or less. Father's Day Gift Guide

Maybe this trend is emerging because 63 percent of dads say being a father is way harder than it was in past generations? Harsh economic times bring a lot of pressure, so we certainly wouldn't blame them for thinking that. But dads everywhere should know: We appreciate them... so much.

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