Why dads must make more time for their kids

By Edward Plant

Over the weekend I saw some statistics about fathers that I was blown away by and feel compelled to share.

The figures struck me because they hit right at the heart of why I am so passionate about helping couples in business.

One of my big drivers is helping fathers create time and space to be with their kids.

In my world, it’s simple: the more time kids get with their father, the better off they are.

I feel strongly about this for a few reasons.

The first reason is that my Dad passed away more than nine years ago. Not only do I miss him immensely, but I see how my two boys (aged 2 and 5) miss his presence. They never met him, but deep down they feel the hole as they have no regular grandfather figure.

Edward and Charles Plant

I see this through their love of having time with older men. When we spend time with other grandfathers, the boys migrate to them, they love spending time with them. When Charles was a baby he would just stare at older men. Imagine the hole if kids don’t get time with a father figure.

The second reason is the impact that strong father role models have on kids.

I believe the adage that it ‘takes a community to raise a child’. Over the past couple of
years Bec and I have helped raise more than $40,000 for homeless kids; those who make their way through childhood with neither a mother nor a father. It breaks my heart. It’s awful, and we want to change it.

The final reason is a result of working with father and mother business owners (couples in business) over the past eight years. I have seen the impact of fathers having more time with their kids. Some of the biggest examples come from families who have children with special needs. The kids start to thrive as a direct result of the father being more available. I’ve seen fathers in tears sharing the first time they got home at 4pm without any work to do and could just play with their kids.

This is one of the key drivers for me inside the Institute for Couples in Business — to support fathers get more time with family. We’ll be showing couples how to find more time in a live workshop on the Gold Coast on June 8.

This hit home over the weekend when I read some damning statistics about fathers from the United States. These figures may not translate directly to Australia and the rest of the world, but even if our results are half of these this situation needs attention and change.

Here are the statistics:

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes – 5 times the average. (US Department Of Health / Census)

90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average.

85% of all children who show behaviour disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average. (Centre for Disease Control)

80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes – 14 times the average (Justice and Behavior, Vol 14, p. 403-26)

71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average (National Principals Association Report)

43% of US children live without their father (US Department of Census)

These statistics show me that there is a direct correlation between time fathers have with their kids and those kids’ capacity to grow into amazing humans in this world.

And while the statistics show what happens in some situations where there is NO father, they also provide insight into the impact of fathers not being present.

So here’s to fathers – you’re awesome, and your kids really do need you.

Take home the tools you need to find more time during our live workshop on the Gold Coast on June 8. We’ll also be showing couples how to get clear on your vision and communicate better to grow your business with less friction and more ease. Seats are limited. Email us to find out more.

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About the Author

Edward is the Co-Founder and Lead Strategist at the Institute for Couples in Business. When he’s not nutting out smart strategies you’ll find him hanging out with wife and business partner Rebecca and his sons Samuel, 4, and Charles, 2. For the past seven years Ed has been working with business owners to double profits, halve hours and build self-sustaining business that thrives with or without you. Ed is also author of #1 best-seller Lead-The-Ship and a sought-after guest speaker who often gets mistaken for Prince Harry.