Dads – it’s time to get into reading!

22 May 2013

Only one in eight dads takes the lead on reading with their children, according to research by Booktrust.

That’s a pretty depressing statistic, given what we know about how important fathers are to their children’s learning and development. You could do more to improve your child’s chances in life by getting really good at reading with them and supporting their education, than by earning more money!

Dad reading with his childrenWant to know what a really good dad looks like? He’s not just the guy kicking a ball around (though that can be great) or putting bread on the table (though that’s vital). He ALSO regularly reads to and with his young child. He listens to their interests and worries. He plays games and does puzzles with them. He introduces them to good TV and videos and new experiences.

He goes into their school whenever he can and whenever the school will let him, to help out and get to know the teachers and what’s going on there.

He looks at his shift patterns or pushes for flexible working or commits to heading home in time or getting up early to read with his child before they both head off for the day.

And if he’s a separated father, not living full-time with his child, he knows this kind of involvement is even more important.

If you’re struggling to do your bit, check out our free resources – including tips on how to do great bedtime stories and how to encourage reluctant readers – on the Fathers’ Story Week website.

FRED logoAnd if you’ve got the reading bug and want to share it with other dads, you could even become a volunteer FRED (Fathers Reading Every Day) coordinator, helping dads and children at your local school, nursery or children’s centre get into the reading habit. Read about FRED here.

You may also like the ReaditDaddy blog, which is campaigning to get more parents reading with their children in 2013!

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One Comment »

  • nongenderbias9 says:

    The reason why father’s are largely absent from their children’s lives, post-separation can be found on the Cafcass website. Go to Research/Resources Bulletin 12. Here you will find views that exclude father’s for the first two years of his child’s life. They talk about “Primary Carer” (this is old fashioned “Bowlby type” post war nonsense suggesting one parent is far more important to the child than the other). They even quote one source saying how beneficial it is for the child to have one secure base and support throughout childhood and adolescence. They poo poo shared parenting, even though we all know successful parenting pre-separation is shared….in fact it’s shared roughly 50:50 between mother and father.
    Cafcass is a nationwide veritable force employing upward of 1700 Social Workers. If you are a father going through separation, God help you.

    In case you don’t get the point. Your suggestion that good fathers read bedtime stories to their children and spend time over their activities and homework is totally unrealistic if father isn’t allowed to see his children more than a couple of times a week.

    When you say all this bonding stuff is more important for separated Dad’s, have a heart, its not that Dad doesn’t want to, Society and his former partner combine to make it well nigh impossible.

    Kind regards

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