Father’s Day: Celebrating the extraordinary 21st century dad
Australia’s Father’s Day celebrations this year will be a little different because of COVID-19 lockdowns around the nation. Instead of picnics, barbeques and trips to the beach, many dads will celebrate on their own or use Zoom, Facetime or a myriad of other devices to connect with their loved ones.
There are 4.6 million dads in Australia, representing 20 percent of the population. In the lead up to Father’s Day it’s a good time to think about the role of fathers and what fatherhood looks like in twenty-first century Australia.
Changing face of fatherhood
In a recent study, McCrindle Research revealed the changing face of fatherhood in Australia. There are some fascinating findings, including that men are becoming fathers at a later age than in earlier generations. The average age of new fathers in Australia is now at 33.1 compared to 26 years in the 1970s. What else is changing?
Today’s dads spend about four hours each day looking after their children, the same as 40 years ago. But what is different is how they spend those four hours. In the past, many dads might not have been adept at changing baby’s nappies or decorating birthday cakes, but they were expert at building cubby houses and train sets and fixing broken door handles. Twenty-first century dads are proficient in all of the above and relish the opportunity to play a bigger hands-on role with their kids from birth onwards.
These days a regular topic of conversation around virtual water coolers is work-life balance and how to achieve it. This is an even bigger problem during COVID-19 lockdowns, because mums and dads are juggling their jobs while home-schooling their children.
Today’s dads worry their work commitments are out of balance with their family responsibilities and they yearn to spend more time with their children. In 2007 the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that 16 percent of dads said their work and family responsibilities were rarely or never in balance. In 2021, it is clear that more dads feel this way.
Father’s day 2021: Gift trends
When McCrindle Research looked at the most used Google search terms prior to Father’s Day last year there were a few surprises. The most popular gift ideas included:
- GPS navigation devices
- Soccer supplies
- Hardware and outdoors supplies
- Car merchandise.
Father’s Day 2021: Looking for gift ideas?
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