Thursday, March 1, 2012

Stay-at-Home Dads

My friend and his wife just recently gave birth to their first child. They both have careers so I wasn’t sure who was going to take care of the baby while they were at work. Would they put the baby in daycare? leave her with a family member or neighbor during the day? or would one of them give of their career to be with her? When asked who was going to take care of the baby, my friend said he was going to quit his job and stay home with her. I was surprised and excited for him.

Not too long after talking to him I came across an interesting article on stay at home dads and the benefits that come from it.  For those who are stay at home dads, know anyone who is, or if you just want to know about the benefits, I thought you might find this information interesting too.  The article, "Stay-at-Home Dads: At-home dads can benefit children and mother" by Patrick Tucker (2005), focuses on studies performed by Robert Frank, a professor of child development at Oakton Community College in Illinois. One of the biggest benefits of stay-at-home dads is the relationship they develop with their child. They are more involved and they become a larger part of their child’s life and a bigger influence, compared to that of a father from a traditional home (one where the father is employed outside the home and the mother stays at home). Furthermore, not only do the children have a stronger relationship with their father but they are still able to have a strong relationship with their mother. Mothers are more involved with their children when they arrive home from work, which creates a strong influence and bond. In contrast, studies show fathers that work outside the home are less likely to be involved with the children when they arrive home (Tucker, 2005).  In addition, to the benefits of the relationship with the child, when a father stays at home research showed that both labor and child care were more evenly distributed. Many of the fathers cooked, dressed/feed the children, and continued with the upkeep of the house and yard, a role more commonly associated with mothers (Tucker, 2005).

It does not seem uncommon to see the traditional family roles changing, Professor Frank said it best when he stated that “A new family structure is emerging, one in which the at-home father provides a strong but caring influence, and a mother continues to play a critical role in the child’s development. She continues to exhibit nurturing ability, and in addition brings new experiences related to working outside the home. The at-home-dad family model may serve as the catalyst that moves society beyond some gender-role stereotypes and may play a role in the future of the family as an institution (Tucker, 2005).”  I find it refreshing that a father would like to stay home to take care of their children. This helps them create a great relationship and become more involved in their child’s life.


Tucker, Patrick (2005). Stay-at-Home Dads: At-home dads can benefit children and mother. Futurist, 39 (5),  12-13.


  1. I enjoyed reading your post! It was a refreshing point of view and I feel as if you brought the university to the blogging world in a great way.
    I really value this families choice to not put their child in day care and decide how a family what would work best for them.
    It's nice to see some real research supporting say at home daddy's!

  2. I agree with Emily, it is nice to see research supporting "non traditional parenting". The father staying home is not something I had thought of very much and the article gave me some good things to think about. I still prefer for me to stay home when my husband and I have children but it is nice to keep in mind other options in case our first choice doesn't work out.

  3. It's really great for children to be cared for by a parent and I love that with more stay-at-home dads we're letting go of the stereotypes that men don't know how to nurture. I loved spending time with my Dad as a child and I just think it's silly when someone suggests that men just don't know how to nurture.

  4. I loved reading this post. It is nice to see such positive research on this non traditional parenting style. My husband and I have always talked about when are children are young it would be great if I could stay home with them for most of the days. I never even considered the idea of him being a stay at home dad until now. It is great to see different ideas and how well it does for the children.

  5. Bravo on bring the research of stay-at-home dad's to the masses. I think it is great that a dad would be willing to stay home and take care of their child. Definitely a discussion a couple should have before a child comes in to their lives so they can understand the options available to them.