Three quarters of UK dads have no time to read with kids

Katie Roberts

By Katie Roberts

March 27th 2012 at 10:13AM
Three quarters of UK dads have no time to read with kids

Growing work commitments mean 74 per cent of fathers are missing out on reading to their children.

The new research commissioned by leading educational entertainment company LeapFrog, shows that of the dads hindered by work obligations, 27 per cent claim their job stops them from getting home at a reasonable hour.

A fifth (20 per cent) say they need to work longer hours due to the recession and more than a quarter (27 per cent) say they are too tired to read to the children when they get home after a busy day.

Aside from work troubles, a further one in 20 (five per cent) claim they are not confident in their own reading abilities which deters them from reading to their own children.

Almost one in ten (eight per cent) of fathers admit they have never taken the time to enjoy a book with their children and a further 17 per cent stop reading to them when they start school.

24 per cent claim they only read to their child at the weekend as they need to be in bed early for school during the week.

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

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

The research also reveals that while eBooks are steadily rising in popularity, only one in 20 (six per cent) of UK families would choose to read with their children on tablet devices, suggesting that traditional children’s books will continue to stand the test of time.

Robert Dekker, senior marketing manager EMEA and Australasia, at Leapfrog commented: "It’s encouraging to see that reading is still such a vital part of family life and that parents continue to view this as one of the most important gifts that can be given to their children.

"It is also interesting to see that traditional forms of reading continue to remain popular within the household despite the increasing popularity of technology based products.

"Here at LeapFrog, we’ve developed Tag as a great reading tool for children that combines both traditional and interactive reading methods to bring stories and characters to life."