At Care.com we ran a recent survey, where we found that Dads have DIY and repairs high up on their list of tasks at home. In our research, men reported their top three tasks to take on as repairs (64%), driving (55%) and rubbish (55%).
Whilst we all love a practical and hard working man, the tyranny of DIY can be dangerous for busy Dads, who work all week and then might devote precious free time to putting up shelves or repainting rooms. As the weather gets better, who wants to spend a sunny weekend stuck indoors on a DIY chore, instead of playing your favourite sport with your children, going on a ramble or teaching them how to ride a bike?
Spouses and partners can help out here too - by encouraging children to think of their father as an individual with some fun hobbies and someone to spend special time with, and resisting the temptation to lean too hard on those capable Dads - by giving them a well deserved break on Father's Day. Research shows that Dads are spending an increasing amount of time with their children, as gender roles relax - and that genuine teamwork by Mum and Dad has a positive impact on outcomes for all children.
Perhaps you have a stay-at-home Dad in your life, who looks after the childcare while you are work. These Dads might be even more challenging to get away from the DIY, the chores and the childcare. Whatever kind of father you have in your family life, you might find inspiration in these tips.
1. When you have a newborn. Let Dad snuggle up and bond - without any distractions. Forget about getting the nursery picture perfect, putting up baby's shelving or painting the walls for an hour or two. Create some special Dad bonding time for the happy pair, with a babymoon at home. Don't answer the phone, check emails or have anyone round for lunch. Just cuddle!
2. The pre-school years. Do some serious messing about! Mums can often feel a little left out in the mix up that is rough and tumble, shoulder carries and bouncing around. Embrace it this Father's Day and set up a mini paddling pool, mini football or soft play fun outside, while you take 'photos or throw together a little picnic for everyone to enjoy.
3. School time. This is where Dads get to learn. Instead of the usual weekend homework routine, why not encourage Dad and little ones to learn something new together on Father's Day? From indoor climbing to sailing, taking up a paintbrush again, or asking them to teach you something they have learnt - children and Dads can have fun learning together.
4. Happy Campers. The chances are, Dad's the one in charge of camping, the equipment and wielding the saucepan over the fire to make the baked beans. Book a tent-led trip this Father's Day weekend and see how much fun that can be for children large and small.
5. Scary beasts. Scared of snakes, spiders or bugs in general? Live out of your comfort zone and book tickets for the zoo, or for a reptile party to come to you for Father's Day.
6. The working week. With less than 25% of Dads in the UK working flexibly, why not encourage the Dad in your family to take time off midweek before or after Father's Day. Giving them the chance to see at first hand your children's "normal" weekday - at home, nursery or school - can only strengthen the bond they have. Make sure that your Care.com housekeeper or gardener comes in that day, so that Dad is 100% focused on extra time with the kids.
7. Cook Dad's favourite meal together. By choosing and preparing Dad's favourite food, letting him put his feet up, children can learn a valuable lesson in health, nutrition ... and just plain spoiling. With this one, you can be a little less altruistic as you are planting your own seeds for Mother's Day and your birthday as well.
8. Go to see Dad's Dad together. Maybe you see Grandpa every day, or maybe this is only an occasional trip. Grab the excuse for double Father's Day fun and take a trip to see where it all began ...
9. Teens and Digital Natives. At this stage in life, some children will withdraw from their parents - even when they are present in the same room with them. Mobile devices become more important, as a way of keeping in touch with friends. Don't forget that as adults, we are sometimes guilty of this too - checking work emails or returning calls while at home. Make a pact that both generations will stay unplugged for a set amount of time, and then agree to a digital activity that you can do together. Learn code together, edit photos or video - or play their favourite game on line with them.
10. Families can be tricky. Of course families don't all look the same. Every family is unique and every parent-child bond is different, but fostering a bond, particularly between the children and the parent who isn't the primary caregiver is incredibly important to everyone involved. This Father's Day, support your child to have a relationship with both parents and help your child to stay close to all their parents, as it is essential to their well-being.
Tell us, how do you value the men in your lives?