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More Dads Wiping Butts, Reading With the Kids

A dad and teen boy sit talking in a living room
(Image credit: <a href=''>Dad and teen photo</a> via Shutterstock)

Dads are more involved with their kids than ever, according to a government survey released Friday. Most dads are doing everything from helping their toddler use the toilet to helping their teenager with algebra.

Of dads with kids younger than 5, 90 percent bathed, diapered, helped them use the toilet or got them dressed at least several times weekly. Over 90 percent ate meals with them several times weekly, and about 66 percent read to them at least several times weekly.

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Of dads with kids aged 5-18, over 90 percent talked to their kids about their day and ate meals with them several times weekly. About 66 percent helped them with homework, and 50 percent took their kids to activities.

Kids with involved fathers have been shown to fare better academically, behaviorally and even nutritionally, according to The AP.

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Dr. David Hill, a Wilmington, N.C., pediatrician and author of “Dad to Dad: Parenting Like a Pro,” told The Associated Press that he’s seen an increase in the number of dads taking their kids to the doctor. Some “are anxious about changing a diaper,” he said, but the study may be reassuring to them because it shows how many dads are in the same boat.

The last survey was taken in 2002. The data, which was self-reported, also shows that dads are already patting themselves on the back: Almost 90 percent of fathers said they thought they were doing at least a good job of parenting.

This story was provided by Discovery News.

Sheila Eldred