Did you know that children are far happier if they talk to their dads 'seriously' most days? This came from research undertaken by the Children's Society this time last year.
I found this interesting because it seems like the role of dad is still a bit vague, even now in the 21st century. As if fathers are a bit more of an optional extra rather than a key figure playing an important role.
For instance, it occurs to me that here we are, two weeks from Father's Day, and I'd not had the same barrage of marketing that preceded mother's day. Then I thought about how there were so many traditions associated with Mother's Day, or Mothering Sunday.
Daffodils, either the real flower or crafted ones. Mum's traditional breakfast in bed complete with burnt toast and handmade cards. Lunch, out at a restaurant or cooked by dad. A day to put your feet up, but a day definitely spent with the family.
Then there's Father's day. No flowers here. I'd go with the breakfast in bed, but there's no real tradition of this. Then what? Do dad's put up their feet while the, er, lawn is mowed? Maybe have lunch cooked for them if they're the ones that do the cooking? There's really no stereotype here, is there?
Apart from the giving of socks and ties. But the same can be the said of birthdays and Christmas too.
So what is Father's day? Does it really matter, and should we make a fuss of it? And if we do, how?
It is always nicer to have the kids make a card. But what else can they do? I quite like this one, it is a Father's Day banner, and it looks dead easy to make. Just three triangle flags, a bit like bunting, and some wool to string it up should do the trick.
How come we don't see more necktie crafts nowadays? I remember there was always something along these lines as a kid. It took a while to dig it up, but this one shows how to make a necktie glasses case. What I like the most is that you can do it using a bit of hand sewing and fabric glue. I'd adapt it and make an iPhone cover. It'll give you a bit of excuse to go rummaging through charity shops as well.
I've spent a number of Father's days at the park, with other mums on their own, as the dad is off doing his own thing. For them, it seems that Father's Day is their guilt-free day. The one day they can take off and do whatever they feel like doing, for the whole day, answering to no-one, with no recriminations.
I wondered about this as I toodled around the roundabouts, a widow for car racing, with another mum, abandoned for a car show, and mum number three whose partner was off on a bike run. Why is it so different?
If mother's day is about being together as a family, how come father's day seems to be the opposite? We're well into the 21st century now, dads aren't relegated to the role of breadwinner and 'wait till your father comes home' anymore. Why aren't they more central to family life?
I'm readdressing the balance somewhat this year. Using some acrylic paint my son and I put our handprints on a stretched blank canvas. It looks pretty cool.
I asked around for some unique ideas that you can make yourself and that dad's might think is cool. There's only a slim possibility that I'll be making one of these myself though.
Dad of three, Don, was harking back to his school days I think when he suggested making a key ring holder out of old cutlery. It sounds suspiciously like one of those first metalwork projects they give eleven year olds. Although it isn't metal or wood work anymore. It is called 'resistant materials'.
I did a bit of digging around and found this really easy approach to cutlery key racks. Also it looks like a fairly interesting decorating statement but more importantly, dead easy to make. I'm guessing that Gorilla Glue is the equivalent of Superglue or No More Nails.
You could screen print your own t-shirt. This project guide here uses materials that are fairly easy to come by. The end result probably won't be all that professional, but that would be part of the charm.
I think that PlayPennies dad James might be dreaming a little when he suggested this one, custom speakers with a colour scheme that looks a bit Starsky and Hutch.
However, a rummage on that site could be worthwhile. This is quite interesting - how to make a USB stick look like a pack of chewing gum.
Or you could make him a voucher. One guilt-free day to be taken as he likes, when he likes. Except for Sunday, the 19th of June. Because Father's day is for family.