Many young fathers are turning to their smartphones and TV instead of Dr. Spock.
More millennial dads are swiping their iPhones, and tuning in to parenting videos like this on YouTube than their motherly counterparts. These young dads, in their 20s and early 30s, are binge-watching videos to learn how to take care of their children, or connect with them: 86% of dads watched clips for guidance on preparing a meal or using a product, according to a study by Google and global research firms Flamingo and Ipsos, and 82% watched videos on pop culture news to connect with their children.
The roles of mom and dad are changing, and in a variety of ways. Fathers are no longer the sole breadwinners in the family, according to the Pew Research Center, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, and they’re taking on more caregiving responsibilities.
There has been a small uptick in the number of dads staying home to take care of their children, Pew concluded. About 2 million U.S. fathers were not working outside of the home in 2012, a 4% increase since 1989. Four times as many dads in 2012 (21%) than in 1989 said their main reason for staying home was to take care of the family.
Dads have more than doubled their time doing housework since 1965, and in that same time frame tripled the amount of time they spend with their children. They also see their role as a dad much more central to their identity, Pew found, and 46% of dads — compared with 41% of moms — said they find parenting enjoyable all of the time.
There may be a reason for all those enthusiastic fathers: Women are still taking on more at work and often struggle to find a balance between work and home life. Women spent 11 minutes more a day than men on housework, about a half hour more on meal prep and cleanup and 16 minutes more on child care throughout the day, according to a survey by coupon and discount shopping site RetailMeNot.
Using YouTube as a parental guide though is completely normal for many millennial parents — about 90% of them found social media somewhat to extremely helpful for their parenting, according to a survey by marketing firm Crowdtap. In that survey, however, mothers said they were more likely to use YouTube than dads, who preferred Pinterest over moms.
This article was originally published in Marketwatch.