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10 reasons dads should take paternity leave

Published: Friday, Aug. 15 2014 4:40 p.m. MDT

Not everyone can take paternity leave. But there are some considerable benefits for dad taking it when they can.


Paternity leave isn’t just for mothers. Fathers, too, have been known to take days or weeks off after having a new baby.

But American employers aren’t as open about giving dads the time.

According to NBC News, 39 percent of American dads take two weeks off when having a child. But taking leave and getting paid has proved to be a problem for some fathers. NBC News reported that 14 percent of U.S. employers offer paid leave for new dads — which has made the country into the only developed nation that doesn’t guarantee the paid time off.

American dads really want paternity leave, too. A study by Boston College found that 89 percent of respondents thought getting paid paternity leave was an important issue. The group with the highest interest was the millennial age bracket, with 93 percent of respondents calling for better paternity leave, showing this is an isssue that the people of the future are looking to change.

In recent weeks, studies and articles have offered reasons why dads deserve to have the paid time off with family. Here is a list of 10 of those reasons:

Kids will learn more about compassion.

It was in July that columnist Kozo Hattori decided to try a new experiment — one that taught him to be compassionate above all else. Deseret News National reported on Hattori’s experiment, citing researchers and experts who found that learning about compassion and empathy are essential to helping kids grow into more humane and giving people. By staying home with the kids and teaching them from those early days, dads can help spread that message to their children.

“Efforts to boost empathy and compassion among youths may be important, considering research that shows it has been on the wane in American youths,” the National reported.

Dad will be more directly involved in child care.

The Organizations for Economic Co-Operation and Development released a study in January 2013 that found dads who spent more time with their kids — at least two weeks after birth — are more likely to be involved in their care in the years to follow.

“The study noted that fathers' use of paternity and parental leave was largest when leave was well-paid and designated specifically for fathers,” CNN reported.

Dad gets a break from work.

While there are certain benefits kids receive when their dads take time off, fathers are gaining something from it too. John Rossheim, a career expert, wrote for monster.com that taking paternity leave is something many men will do if they full understand the benefits of it. And one of those benefits is getting the time off and being able to step away from the office for a couple of weeks.

Whether and how much working fathers continue to labor while on leave “varies per person and according to circumstances,” said Maryella Gockel, a strategy leader in accounting a Ernst & Young. “If you’re in the middle of a big (business) deal, the transition to leave may take longer.”

Mom gets a break from child-rearing.

Wahm.com — a work-at-home mothers information website — expressed one important part of dads taking paternity leave. It offers moms a break from always doing the child-rearing. Stresses and complications that a mother experiences in the early days of raising a child can be relieved by the dad stepping into that role, wahm.com noted.

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