Times are rapidly changing, workplaces are becoming flexible and willing to adapt to their employees lives rather than the other way around. Childcare is changing also. This means the traditional picture of stay at home mum, even though still a common one, is now less so than we are maybe willing to accept. More stay at home dads are starting to become the norm. Some by choice, some due to financial reasons. The reasons differ for each family.
Will dad replace mum entirely?
Well, that isn’t happening for some time yet. Both parents play and should play a vital role in every child’s life and therefore should both be actively participating in raising them too.
But let’s talk numbers:
According to the National At Home Dad Network data, there are 7 million men who are stay at home fathers in the US alone. This number is from the US Census from 2011 and accounts for approximately 32%, which is represents a stunning increase by one quarter from 2002.
Pew Research from 2014 had found that 2 million men are stay at home fathers. This is double the number of 1989. There is also an increase in men who voluntarily choose to become stay at home dads. There is a rise from 5 to 21 %.
Times and career choices are changing
As the talks about equal pay and equal employment opportunities for the exact same job role increase in intensity and the push on governments around the world is stronger than it’s ever been before, the number of women working in high level executive a.k.a “manly” positions is rapidly increasing.
They work as CEOs of large corporations, lead countries or decide court cases. Companies are also doing their best to be hiring women in places and for roles which were only a few years ago ruled by men. This means that a woman secures high pay and if that income happens to be higher than that of her significant other, it makes complete financial sense for the father to stay at home on a parental leave.
But what does a society think about the fact, that more men are staying at home with their offspring voluntarily?
Well, as per research done by Pew Research Center in 2013, 51% of people think children are far better off staying at home with mum and only 8% with dad. Another interesting fact is, that stay at home fathers are twice as likely to not have a high school certificate as dads who go to work. The exact figures are 22% vs 10%. Also stay at home fathers are older. Only one quarter of them is less than 35 years old.
And the effect on a child’s development is?
Now we know the general info and are well versed in the numbers game but does it have an effect or some kind of an influence on the child’s development at all?
Well, yes and quite a significant one.
Studies done by the Father Involvement Research Alliance have shown that children, from the moment they are born and their dads are very involved with them since the first days of their lives are more emotionally secure, more confident and more curious to explore new places and things, like to socialize more with other people, are better at finding solutions to problems and have a higher IQ.
Girls have been proven to have a higher self esteem and boys are less aggressive. In general people whose fathers have been very involved in their upbringing are more successful academically, are calmer, tolerant and understanding and have happy and long lasting marriages. There is however a difference between what dads and mums focus on when it comes to raising kids. Dads want to teach their kids to be achievers, to be competitive and independent. Moms are a bit different. They focus more on security and collaboration with others.
And how involved are you in raising your kids to become good and successful people?