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Dads Don't Do What? Wait...What?

I read a statistic a while back and saved it for a later date. It is not some mind boggling "99% of Dads secretly wish they had chosen a career in arm wrestling" or a really harsh number indicting men for lack of involvement. No, it is something I never really thought about:

In 2009, 39% of fathers never read to their child, 32% never visited their child’s classroom, and 54% never volunteered at their child’s school. Source: National Center for Fathering. (2009). Survey of fathers’ involvement in children’s learning. Kansas City, KS: National Center for Fathering

Wait...what? Math is not my forte but my guess is that a kid should be read to an average of 20 minutes a day? So 20x365x5=36,500 for the first 5 years. Let's just call it an even 608 hours. This is a great time to play, "How Did Yoiu spend Your Time."

TV: Studies say Americans watch 5 hours a day. That seems a little high. Let's go real conservative on this number. Say 2hrs a day for a total of 3650 hours.

Smartphones: Seems like the number is around 2.5 hours daily but rising. A little math here...4560 hours or so. Ya think candy crush is worth it?

At least 50% of dads feel they spend too little time with their kid(s) according to Pew Research Center.

Kids are in school somewhere around 1000 hours a year. They spend the majority of their productive time in a classroom their father may have never visitied. They spend time with people that never really meet the dad.

So, what is the take away here? Maybe it is about the small choices we make? Maybe if we decide to log out of facepage and log into our into the life of our children. Even if we can't read to them every single day or whatever else, at least when we have a choice between wasting away staring at a screen or engaging them we can choose wisely. Spending 8300 hours over the course of 5 years doing basically nothing.

Balance is the name of the game and if it were easy then I wouldn't be writing this. Should we be the best person we can be? Eh, maybe 80% the best you can be. 100% is way too much pressure and the gray area can provide that youthful feeling of making mistakes. Kids are growing up these days with more access to their fathers but unfortunately we are not always paying attention.

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