Some mothers might argue that every day is Father’s Day and we aren’t really going to disagree with them.
After all, they get the offspring, delivered by a female who did all the work, a house that still stands at the end of the day, and if they’re really lucky, good food on the table the moment they wake up.
What else could they really need?
Don’t worry Dads, we’re only joking. In all seriousness, Father’s Day is a great time to celebrate the main man in your life. Like Mother’s Day, it’s a time to get the message through to your kids that parents are important, and should be celebrated and respected. Unfortunately, dads can be a little more challenging to plan a celebration for.
Most mums are stoked to get breakfast in bed (burnt), with a cup of coffee (too weak), and an accompanying card (made five minutes before). So, how can you help your kids to celebrate with their dad throughout their lives? Here are some ideas.
Obviously, your little baby is not really going to care one way or another what day it is. Between one feeding and another, we imagine they all look more or less the same. So, if you’ve got a little one and it’s Father’s Day, we’re afraid that you’re at the helm. This day is more about how your partner feels to be a dad, so keep that in mind for any celebration you’re planning.
We suggest a family day out to somewhere simple, like a park or the beach. Bring some toys for your little one, and spend the day basking in the glory of what you’ve created.
For gift ideas, we’re strong believers in anything homemade. You can do foot and hand paintings, or even buy a matching outfit for child and papa.
Toddlers are keen to be involved in anything and everything, so if you can handle the chaos that’s coming, feel free to bring them in on the celebrations. Talk to them about the idea of Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day while you’re there) and why it’s important. Encourage them to have their own ideas about how they want to celebrate, or thank their dad for being the great guy that he is. Otherwise, make a list of some ideas you might have about how to celebrate, and have your toddler ‘own’ the day by choosing for themselves what they want to do.
We suggest something that’s as active as your toddler is. Think of your partner’s favourite activities, and then plan the day accordingly.
If he’s into BBQs, then dinner at the park might be in order. If he loves fishing, why not head out to a jetty or the seaside for a day in the sun?
For gifts, let your toddler lose on a card of their own creation, and scour the web for something simple that you can make with them to give to their dad.
This is a great age to be celebrating Father’s Day. They’re old enough to understand what’s going on, and they have the yearly routine of Father’s Day down. So, instead of hovering over them and forcing them to do one thing or another in the celebration, allow them to own the day. Supervise them as they look for ideas online about what they can do with their dad, and be the adult that helps make it happen. Your kids should, by now, know their dad pretty well, certainly enough to sort out Father’s Day on their own imaginations.
If they’re having trouble coming up with a way to celebrate, we suggest they have a chat to Dad.
Let them plan together something that they want to do that’s just for Dad to enjoy with them. The bonus of this is, should they want to do ‘dad and kids only’ stuff, you get to have a day to yourself!
The older your kids get, the less of a role you’ll play in Father’s Day. At the most, you’ll just be gently reminding them of the day (we all know how wildly busy and highly important the lives of teenagers can be). This is the time that parents and kids can clash with each other, as your kids start to flex their new-found adult responsibilities and freedoms. At times like this, celebrations like Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day, become even more important. They shape the kind of relationship that you might have with your kids in the future.
We suggest encouraging your child to use their own resources, homemade or their own money from jobs etc, to sort out the Father’s Day celebrations and gifts.
Let them buy a gift voucher, take Dad out for breakfast, or get him something he’s been wanting. This is their time to show they care, and you can just sit back and observe.