Shared Parenting Information Group (SPIG) UK

- promoting responsible shared parenting after separation and divorce -

Big rise in stay at home dads - UK numbers treble in four years

45,000 UK fathers chose to stay at home and raise their children rather than work during 1996, compared with 18,000 in 1992 - and these figures are expected to rise - says the Office of National Statistics in the first official study of 'house husbands'.

This reversal of traditional roles reflects not only the growing earning power of women at work, but also a revolution in attitudes among men.

Robert Perry, who resigned his job as a systems analyst to look after his two young daughters says he had little difficulty in coming to terms with his new lifestyle. He even became treasurer of his local mother and toddler group. He says:
"It has been brilliant to spend time with my children. Many men miss out on their children's development but I am much closer to mine. We have broken down the traditional male and female roles and I have really benefited and they have too."
The actor Simon Shepherd (Dr Preston in the TV series 'Peak Practice') has turned down job offers to bring up his four young children. He says:
"Right now I don't want to leave home and the kids, even though having four children becomes a question of crowd control."

Professor Martin Richards, Director of Cambridge University Centre for Family Research says:
"Children who have had men looking after them are much like any other children."

"The roles of mother and fathers are interchangeable. Fathers can and do play an important part in the lives of their children. They are no mother substitutes"

From an article by Edward Welsh in 'The Sunday Times' - 7 September 1997

David Cannon

Last updated - 28 December 1997
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