Despite the routines and methods many mums painstakingly follow in their quest for order amid kiddie-chaos, dads just have a way of doing some things differently. And while there may be the odd parenting fracas between Team Mum and Dad (“You call that a pony tail?!”), many a mum would attest to being completely lost without some of the brilliant tactics dads bring to child rearing.
Here are some of the areas in which some dads positively nail the parenting game – be it play time, throw-food-at-the-wall time or that time we parents fear the most: melt-down-and-scream time.
Of course, not every dad is a rough-and-tumble goofball. But, we have a teeny suspicion that you’ll find at least one of these traits in a dad near you.
They have mastered the art of distraction
Deprive a young child of something they want and you’ve got yourself a full-blown tantrum. When explanations and reasoning gets a parent nowhere, beyond feeling completely exhausted, dads are the masters of creating an irresistible diversion for tanty tots, “Hey, look! Our garden gnome just sneezed!”
They can throw kids in the air, time after time. They can become a human swing, a climbing frame, a rocket ship – with three passengers. And dads can walk forever with a child on their shoulders.
They’re a little bit Indiana Jones-y
Whether it’s climbing up, hooning around, racing through, or just getting airborne – dads are brilliant when it comes to adventuring with kids. Less risk averse, they are great at encouraging kids to safely try new activities and sports, explore new turf and step outside of their comfort zones, especially when it comes to the great outdoors. And camping with Dad is about as cool as it gets.
They’re way more tolerant
They’re picked on: “Dad! You’re nose is too big!’ They cop a bit of blame: “Dad ate the rest of the ice cream!” They endure beauty regimes: “Dad, can I paint your nails again?” They get their socks destroyed in the making of puppets, and let’s not forget all those mugs they receive gratefully every birthday, year after year.
They’re not ashamed to get their goof on
Because dressing up as Rapunzel while mowing the lawn is the stuff giggles are made of. And dad jokes. Those too.
From epic cubby houses and makeshift billy carts to parenting hacks you have to see to believe, some dads just love to splash that ingenuity around.
OK, so they might not be able to touch their toes anymore, but dads are great at throwing the daily parenting routine out the window and letting spontaneity, or just plain fun, lead the way. Like letting the kids stay up past their bedtime because their UNO tournament is in full swing (and Dad has his title to defend.)
They’re budding actors
Towers, fortresses, Barbie’s adventures in space – whatever the game, you can bet Dad’s epic performance will take character acting to the next level.
They can let things go
Spills, mess, children running half-naked through the house screaming when guests are due any second – it’s enough to make a lot of parents lose their cool. But many dads have a way of channelling their inner chill, letting it all go and believing deep down that sooner or later the kids will run out of energy, even though all signs are suggesting the opposite.
They actually enjoy fixing things
Whether they are a natural with tools, or a believer that Super Glue repairs all things, dads are the go-to Mr. Fix It when it comes to resurrecting the toys, games and household items that come off second best to the kids.
They have the ability to become a complete kid
Like wearing a saucepan on his head while he cooks pancakes or making fart noises. Dad’s inner kid is always waiting for a chance to come out and play. Especially when Lego is involved.
Through the ups, downs and loop-the-loops of parenting, dads are a lot of things, and fart jokes aside, we absolutely love them for it.