fathers spend more time with kids
June 13 essay, “Best fathers have
more education,” is very timely; Fathers
Day is June 18. But fathers are important
every day of the year. I agree with
Mr. Yount about that.
Gladys M. Martinez of the National
Center for Health Statistics reported
that “fathers who have higher levels
of education are more involved in
their children’s daily lives.” Who
could disagree with this statement?
But when Mr. Yount says that “about
75 percent of fathers in the U.S.
have children under the age of 19
and live with them,” I have to disagree.
These men may live with children younger
than 20 but are they his kids? Does
he have other kids that, due to divorce,
live with other men?
More than 10 years ago, David Blankenhorn,
in his book “Fatherless America,”
wrote that “tonight, about 40 percent
of American children will go to sleep
in homes in which their fathers do
not live.” Due to the tremendous increase
in out-of-wedlock births and divorces,
this figure has surely multiplied.
So while the best fathers may have
more education, the best fathers also
have more time with their kids. It
is time for custody courts to quit
removing dads from families.
Let’s remember that on Fathers Day
and every day.
|Dad's parental involvement
parallels education level
|By DAVID YOUNT
June 11, 2006
For the first
time the government has made a study
of how fathers function in family
life. About 4,900 men between the
ages of 15 and 44 were asked what
they did for their children beyond
supporting them financially. Across
the board, the study found, "fathers
who have higher levels of education
are more involved in their children's
daily lives," reported Gladys
M. Martinez of the National Center
for Health Statistics.
A father's level
of education even predicts the likelihood
that his offspring are legitimate
and that he lives with his children.
Whereas only 6 percent of male college
graduates have fathered a child outside
of marriage, nearly half of men without
a high school education have done
If Dad isn't
around, of course, he can't very
well be expected to be an involved
parent. But about 75 percent of
fathers in the U.S. have children
under the age of 19 and live with
quality of their paternal involvement
reflects the fathers' educational
achievement, which makes a strong
argument against teenage boys
dropping out of school.
failure of my first marriage
back in the 1970s I became a
statistical anomaly: a male
single parent with custody of
my three little daughters. There
are many more single-parent
dads now, but the job of raising
kids can't have gotten any easier,
as single-parent Moms can attest.
an example of parental involvement:
two-thirds of the more-educated
dads report routinely bathing
or dressing their children,
compared with two-fifths
of fathers who are less
well-schooled. My daughters,
now in their 30s, still
remember Saturday nights
from their early childhood
when I lined them up, one
after the other, for their
baths. Those are not pleasant
memories for them or for
me, because I used the occasion
to shampoo their fine red
hair, invariably causing
tangles I would then clumsily
attempt to brush out.
did I receive much in
the way of gratitude for
braiding their hair in
pigtails before they went
off to school. After I
remarried, my wife adopted
the trio. She was instantly
more adept at child-rearing.
Back to the government
report: On average,
more than four out of
five fathers who live
with their children
under the age of five
report having played
with them every day
during the past month.
But here again, the
are more involved -
87 to 76 percent - than
those fathers with,
at the most, a high
Moms apparently are
more likely to read
to their children,
but 42 percent of
fathers do so daily
compared with just
one-third of dads
with less formal education.
We've been told
character and civilizes
more to our adulthood
than the mere accumulation
of years. Separate
studies have revealed,
happily, that the
strength of a parent's
can compensate for
lack of schooling
by engendering a
sense of responsibility
in the parent.
the Rest of
Your Life: A
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