Cartersville dad says time best spent with daughter
by Jessica Loeding
Jun 19, 2011 | 4437 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tye Kown and his daughter Hannah swing on their front porch in Cartersville.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Tye Kown and his daughter Hannah swing on their front porch in Cartersville. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Between doctors visits, Girl Scout meetings and traveling for business, Tye Kown squeezes in time for lunch at 4-Way, a trip to Tractor Supply and a sit-down interview.

Kown, dad to Hannah, 7, talks repeatedly of spending time with his daughter.

"I believe the most important thing you can spend on your kid is time," says the 41-year-old single father.

Swinging on the wide front porch of their Blackfoot Trail home, Hannah talks about what makes her dad special -- that he takes care of her -- and what he just does not understand about little girls -- "that we need lots of attention."

And that need for attention is what led Kown to gain custody of his daughter and what motivates him to work his schedule around her plans. Kown, who is self-employed, said he often takes time off prior to the nights Hannah spends with her mother or grandparents.

Kown also takes an interest in Hannah's extracurricular activities, currently serving as a co-leader for her Girl Scout troop.

"After we went to four or five meetings ... none of the other parents would step up and even attend the meetings. Most of them would sit in the meetings with their iPhones and their Blackberrys in a corner and I was participating and helping so they just asked me if I would be the co-leader," explained Kown.

In addition, the father headed the troop's Girl Scout cookie campaign. A neighbor said Kown was seen traversing the neighborhood with a wagon loaded with cookies and Hannah in tow.

For Father's Day, the Kowns will spend time hanging out at the home of Kown's parents, and Hannah shyly suggests she has a surprise for her father, too.

Although Kown has a strong support system in place, he still shoulders a majority of the child care responsibilities.

According to 2010 Census data, Kown is not alone.

Figures on the number of single-father households in Bartow County were not listed among the data from the 2000 Census. A decade ago single mothers led 6.2 percent of Bartow County households.

In 2010, single dads accounted for 2.9 percent of the 32,782 households in the county. Single moms were reported in 7.1 percent of homes.

Those numbers reflect a growing trend in single-father households across the state and nation.

Kown said he has seen an increase in single dads, citing several cases within his business dealings.

In Georgia, single dads make up 2.2 percent of households, while their counterparts lead 8.9 percent of homes. Single-mother households accounted for 8.6 percent of the total in 2000.

Nationwide, single-parent totals are similar to the state, with dads leading 2.4 percent of single-parent families and moms 7.2 percent.

According to a Pew Research Center study, more fathers are absent from the home, but the results show fathers have become more active.

The study, "A Tale of Two Fathers," reported that from 1960 to 2010 the number of children living apart from their father had more than doubled, from 11 percent to 27 percent.

And, while mom still spends more time with the children, married fathers in 1965 spent only 2.6 hours caring for the child per week. That number reached 6.5 hours in 2000.

Those statistics do not surprise Kown. "I know a lot of [parents] don't have time to spend [with their children], especially dads, divorced dads."

Kown admits being a single parent is difficult, but the best part? "Spending time with your kid."