5 Father’s Day Gift Suggestions for “Real Dads”
Is it a day for Dad to go golf or to the gym or whatever he does to hang out with his guy friends or is it a day to be with the kids and do “Dad stuff?”
First recognized over 4,000 years ago, the special day for Dad in the US was set in 1972 when President Nixon proclaimed the third Sunday in June as the official Father’s Day celebration. And since that day, and likely for centuries prior, Dads have been getting ugly ties and power tools instead of things they really want. That is, until now!
I asked my husband and a few of my Dad friends what are the “must have” Father’s Day gifts. While I didn’t get any actual idea of what they want, I did get some very specific answers about what they don’t want. There was a lot of laughing and joking about being a “real Dad” or a “Dad with a capital D.” And what I got from them was that they’re different from their Dad and that being part of their kid’s lives was the biggest joy.
So, what to get for Dad this Father’s Day? Here are 5 suggestions for “Real Dads.”
- Fun – not as in clean out the garage or assemble something with 6,432 parts kind of fun but the kind of fun that involves water balloons, games where Dad can be a kid or playing silly games. The fun that often comes with Mom rolling her eyes, saying “be careful” or hiding out in the bathroom on the iPad posting photos and status updates to Facebook who much she’s in love with this man. Dads spend a lot of time being serious but being fun and silly is the key to hearing their kids laugh. And laughter from their kids is the fuel for the superhero Dad.
- Presents – Dads like opening gifts too! But not another tie or tools that need to be used within the next 72 hours to build something. Dad wants those sappy kid-art pieces and crafts that are often reserved for Mom. Also, it seemed to be a consensus that if Mom wanted to buy herself something “pretty,” Dad wouldn’t mind and that would be a sufficient gift as well.
- Dinner Out – maybe not on Father’s Day, but a Dad-date was something all the guys thought was a great idea. It’s not that they didn’t want to go out as a family or on date-night with Mom, it’s just that they realize, too, that one day their babies will be all grown up and (hopefully) not still living at home. Regardless of how old the kids are, one thing the Dads all said was they rarely get quality one-on-one time with the kids. Each child has a different relationship with Dad, so nurture it.
- Mindreading Classes – if there was research done on this topic it would likely show that Dads answer 892 questions daily, on average. Most of those questions have been or also will be posed to Mom because the one asking doesn’t like the response Mom gave or thinks Mom will give a better answer. Dads don’t know what to do. Unless Dad has his own Vegas show involving reading people’s minds, the average father is unable to read minds. Despite years of practice, perhaps now is a good time to give Dad the skill that everyone seems to think he already has.
- Guy time – as much as they love being with their family, Dads need time away too. They need people to argue with, to yell at, to laugh with and to realign their masculine side. Even though they may channel their sensitive side at home, these modern Dads aren’t much different from the Dads 4,000 years ago. Family is important, but so are their friends. Besides, if Dads don’t get time to hang out with their guy friends (who are likely other Dads too) how else will all those crazy ideas for fun with the kids either get put into place or shot down as truly insane?
As much as we Moms think Dads (and men, in general) are so complicated, they’re not. It’s just that they have a different sense of time and fun than we do. And one day a year, on Father’s Day, Dads across the country have the excuse they need to celebrate what they see as their proudest achievement – being a Dad.
How will you spend Father’s Day? Or, better yet, will Dad have to cook on Father’s Day?