dads miss out on reading time

New research reveals UK dads lack time to read with their children due to work commitments.

Nearly one in ten dads admit they have never enjoyed a book with their children.

With rising family costs and longer working hours, 74 per cent of fathers in the UK are missing out on reading to their, according to new research commissioned by leading educational entertainment company LeapFrog.

The study of 1,000 parents with children aged between 2 and 10 also found that family reading time is hindered because:

•    27% of dads claim their job stops them getting home at a reasonable hour
•    20% of dads need to work longer hours due to the recession
•    24% of dads only read to their children at the weekend as they go to bed early in the week

Aside from work troubles, a further one in 20 (5%) claim they are not confident in their own reading abilities which deters them from reading to their own children. The same number of dads also state they are too embarrassed to animate the character’s voices in the books they read, even though their children prefer for stories to be read in this way.

Educational expert Janette Wallis, commented on the findings:

“Every parent is aware that factoring time into each day can be a challenge, which is why it’s often easier for parents to read just before bedtime. This is a quieter time of the day where parents can really relax and enjoy some quality time with their children - and getting lost in a good book is a great way to do this. As well as helping them to build their academic skills in terms of literacy and comprehension, it also allows children to be imaginative and explore characters and voices too. The research shows that finding this time can be even trickier for dads, but it’s important to get in to a routine and share the reading time equally with your partner, even if it’s just at the weekend.”

Whilst the majority of dads are missing out on reading time with their families, almost a third (32%) state it as the activity they’d like to do more of with their children.


image courtesy of

The top five ways in which dads want to spend more time with their children are:

1.    Reading books
2.    Spending time outside playing sport
3.    Taking children to the library
4.    Playing on educational devices
5.    Getting involved in their children’s education

dadzclub thinks this situation is sad as reading to kids is such a rewarding experience for both child and dad. It really doesn’t take much time to read a quick story at a time that suits the individual family. Who says it has to be in the evening when everyone is so tired!

Over the coming weeks we plan to look at the area of literacy including schemes that aim to encourage more family reading. In the meantime we would love to hear your views on this research and your experiences of reading in your homes.

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