How To Get Dads To A Parenting Class? Ask Them To Read To Their Kid

Even though studies show kids whose fathers take an active part in their lives are less disruptive and better adjusted socially, most programs that aim to up parenting skills are geared towards mothers.

And a lot of dads aren't eager to sign up for parenting classes. So researchers at New York University created a parenting class for dads that wasn't called a parenting class. Instead, it was pitched as academic readiness training for preschoolers. But the fathers, who were mostly low-income, Spanish-speaking residents of New York City, did improve their parenting skills. And their children's behavior language acquisition got a boost, too, the study finds.

"When someone tells you they're in a parenting course, the first thing that comes to your mind is, 'Well, what's wrong with their parenting?' " says Anil Chacko, an associate professor of counseling psychology at New York University and lead author on the study. "It assumes there is some deficit present."

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