How Dads Feel About Fatherhood

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Dads do more and want more

Science tells us fathers make a unique and important contribution to their children’s early development and life-long success. Young children with involved fathers tend to be more patient and better able to handle stress and frustration once they’re in school. Children with involved fathers are less likely to experience depression, obesity, teen pregnancy and more.

ZERO TO THREE’s National Parent Survey asked parents how they feel about fatherhood.

baby crying - shaken baby syndrome prevention

Everyone agrees:

Dads are important and deserve more credit for all they do.

84% of parents believe that children are better off when both parents are involved.

64% of moms and 63% of dads agree that dads don’t get enough credit for their involvement in raising and caring for young children.

Dads love being dads and want to do better


Say being a parent is their greatest joy


Say being a father is the best job in the world


Say their lives began when they became a dad


of dads want more information on how to be a better parent

Today’s dads feel more involved and affectionate than their own parents were

When asked to indicate whether they do the following with their kids more, less, or as much as they recall their own parents did with them as children: 

52% Show more affection


47% Participate in more play and quality time


46% read more to their children

54% say “I love you” more


baby crying - shaken baby syndrome prevention

Still many dads feel shut out

40% would like to be more involved with raising their children but feel their partner interferes with their involvement.

43% think their partners takes too much control of parenting.

References & Sources
  1. – Data presented here are drawn from an online survey of adults conducted for ZERO TO THREE and the Bezos Family Foundation by SoAct Consulting. an independent research company. 

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How Dads Feel About Fatherhood