Do a search for “statistics on dads.” The first result? “Fatherless children”
The second? “Father absence”
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A similar search for moms turns up cheery results, like, “Statistics about mothers around the World” and “Surprising Statistics That’ll Make You Appreciate Mom.”
We see that and think maybe sites like the National Fatherhood Initiative have things turned around. We don’t need to scare future generations into being more involved. We need to change how we see fatherhood. Even the latest studies look at paternity leave through a maternal lens. It’s time we take women out of the equation and focus on what makes dads so essential.
Fathers as Silly, Playful, Social Tutors
Did you know a 14-year study in the UK showed that children with dads who bathed them as kids made more friends in school? What a kooky thing to study, right? But there was a reason. What is bath time to a dad if not bubble hairdos and saving action figures from the brink of destruction? It’s playtime, and play helps prepare children for better social experiences over a lifetime.
More recent studies show dads are happier than moms and their childless male counterparts. They suffer fewer bouts of depression and experience higher rates of life satisfaction. One of the biggest reasons behind the difference? Dads are more likely to play with their children, and because of that, they enjoy parenting more.
Of course, the study also says moms have a harder time playing around while bearing the weight of family cognitive responsibilities, like remembering what chores need to be done and when to buy groceries. But don’t single dads worry about these things too? If you’ve conquered these issues, please leave your tips below for dads who are still trying to work out a helpful system for organizing their home-based workloads.
Single Fathers Live Longer Than Childless Men
Stats on single dads frequently point to the health risks of dads struggling to make it on their own. While the most physically fit of any parenting group, they’re also the loneliest group of parents and have the smallest social networks. They also drink more and have poor-quality diets, which might play a role in higher rates of heart disease and cancer. It almost makes it seems like being a single dad is a risk to your health, until you look at mortality rates for childless, single men. The life expectancy of childless single men is 1.2% less than single dads. When you consider that, single dads definitely have the advantage here!
So, even if you can’t actually have your kids with you this Father’s Day, here’s to being a single dad! Having kids, as a single father, whether you’re raising them on your own, raising them with a co-parent, or not seeing them nearly enough, raises your life expectancy and ensures that you’ll be happier overall.