A new study says that fathers can improve their parenting skills and shed their 'assistant parent' tag by spending more time with their kids without having mothers around.
The research found that the family would benefit if fathers and children got together more.
"Kids need their fathers for them to be around and doing the organising part of their lives. Our culture is to leave it all to mum," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted one of the study's authors, Margot Prior of the University of Melbourne, as saying.
The study involved 110 families in Melbourne with children aged between three and 12.
Fathers who spent significant time with their children said they felt the youngsters' well-being was improved, their own sense of worth rose and it promoted them from the role of 'assistant parent'.
"Solo care is about the interaction. It is the notion of fathers taking the responsibility in making decisions more of the time," said Prior.
A survey by the Financial Services Council found 71 per cent of Australian fathers, compared with 43 per cent of mothers, spent less than four hours a day with their children dedicated to 'parenting' duties.
The findings were published in the journal Early Child Development and Care.