Meet The Modern Dad: Hands-On And Clued-In

By Nara Schoenberg
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that draws on census data, surveys and academic research, fathers are more involved in their children’s lives today than they were even 10 years ago. According to the US census, the number of stay-at-home dads increased by more than 60 percent from 98,000 in 2003 to 159,000 in 2012.

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill.

Seven years ago, when he was a newly minted stay-at-home dad, Lance Somerfeld looked for a New York dads group that was holding meet-ups at playgrounds and kiddie classes.

“It didn’t exist,” he says.

Today, the City Dads Group (www.citydadsgroup.com) meet-up Somerfeld started with a friend has expanded into a network of 6,000 dads in 22 cities, with offerings ranging from Dads’ Nights Out to workshops on the nuts and bolts of parenting.

“Dads are just as interested in potty training, introducing solids, how to install car seats as moms,” says Somerfeld. “So (we thought), wouldn’t it be nice for experts to come and school us and be able to do it in a circle, with other men?”

Fathers are more involved in their children’s lives today than they were even 10 years ago, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that draws on census data, surveys and a new wave of academic research. Among the findings:

-The number of stay-at-home dads increased by more than 60 percent from 98,000 in 2003 to 159,000 in 2012, according to the U.S. Census.

-Fathers spent 17 hours a week on child care and housework in 2011, up from 6.5 hours in 1965.

-Paid family-leave laws that support father-infant bonding have made headway in the past decade, with both New Jersey and Rhode Island passing legislation.

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