Do dads read to their children?

March 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Daily Life, Work & Life | Leave a comment
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There’s been huge amounts in the press over the past few weeks about the lack of involvement dads have in the upbringing of their children.  Reading is a recurring theme – according to some reports, 75% of dads never read to their children.

Now, unless you’re an admirable member of the army or RAF, protecting our great country and away for months on end, or you’re a heart surgeon and are saving lives, (not that all jobs aren’t worthy), then if you’re home at bedtime at least at the weekends, then there really is no excuse.  Some nights my husband gets home at 7pm and he hardly takes his coat off before sitting down to read Skunka Skunka Tank.  If you don’t know it, you need it on your book shelf.

That’s not to say there aren’t nights that we run out of time, get home late or just can’t fit it in, but as a general rule we’ve read to our son every night since he was three weeks old.  Approaching his first school year, he already has a love of books which makes me feel very proud.  It’s about the only time in the day he actually listens to what we’re saying.

I was interviewed on BBC Oxford last Wednesday morning about the compromises working parents have to make at their children’s expense.  I knew I was being interviewed about being a working parent but I didn’t know in what context until I was live on air.

I didn’t feel I had to defend myself because I don’t feel that I make any compromises.  Whilst our nearly four-year old is at pre-school he’s having an absolute whale of a time – he’s mixing with children his age – boys he spends as much time hugging as he does crashing cars with, and girls he looks up to as much as his teachers.  He gets more out of this than I believe he would being at home with me every day.

Yes, both my husband and I work.  Yes we don’t get to bake/do crafts/feed the ducks every day, but come Friday my time is dedicated to my son.  We do have to go to the supermarket, do chores and keep the house straight but most of the time we make it into a game.  We put fires out and save stranded cats around Tesco.  We are transformers posting secret messages at the Post Office and we play statues at the doctors surgery.

The radio DJ asked if I thought I’d cracked it.  I said probably not but that we’re a very, very happy family and that I wouldn’t change a thing.  Yes I feel guilty when my son says he doesn’t want to go to pre-school, but I think all children do that at some stage, whether you work or not.  Yes I feel guilty when I literally see my son for an hour an a half before he goes to bed, but he goes to bed happy dreaming of being a knight, a superhero or a policeman.  And we’ll help him to get there.  We’re going to have to work if he decides to be a knight and wants a horse.

Do you feel you make compromises for working?  I can honestly say, I don’t.


Image courtesy of TLC


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