Family: Fathers do their share with computers

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The Independent Online
Fathers with a flair for computers are spending more time helping their children to study at home, a survey published today shows.

They are increasingly being tempted away from their heavy workloads to use the family computer as a teaching tool. But they prefer to leave the more traditional forms of homework and the housework to women, according to a BT HomeCampus survey of 1,174 parents or guardians of under 16-year- olds.

Only 9 per cent of them admitted to being involved in their child's learning at home generally but this figure jumped to 16 per cent once the family had bought a computer, according to the survey.

A total of 64 per cent of computer-using fathers would happily surf the Internet, 45 per cent would delve into desktop publishing and 42 per cent would use word processing if it meant helping their child to learn.

Out of these fathers, only 10 per cent said they made sure that homework was done if it did not involve computers.

Child psychologist Dr Charlie Lewis, of Lancaster University, said: "PCs and the Internet are providing fathers with the opportunity to forge links and interact with their children, which previously did not exist.

"This goes against a popular school of thought that the use of computers results in social isolation."

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