FATHERS TWICE AS LIKELY TO TAKE TIME OFF WORK OVER THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS THAN A GENERATION AGO, screams the headline of a press release from Sainsbury's I've jujsst been sent. It goes on to say that,
This year’s summer holidays are being dubbed the ‘Daddydays’ by Brits, apparently. Research by Sainsbury’s shows that today’s children are twice as likely to be looked after by their dads over the summer holidays compared to children of the sixties. And baking beats football as the top activity dads are most likely to entertain their kids with during the summer.
Who'd have thought it?
Mind you, us dads have been in the news again this week. Even our local MP announced he's stepping down in order to 'spend more time with his family'. And I don't think that's a euphemism.
But I digress. This survey - of 2,000 parents - reveals that almost half of dads (42%) now take equal responsibility for childcare over the summer holidays compared to just 23% when they were young. And the list of things dads do to keep the kids amused contrasts to their own childhood experience too: the dads questioned placed football (26%) top of the list of their own childhood holiday activities closely followed by visiting their grandparents’ house (24%).
No mention anywhere of cricket, I see. Or tree climbing. (I particularly remember getting stuck doing the latter and a friend having to fetch my dad who had to talk me down, branch by branch until I reached terra firma. Still, clearly dad was there and we were bonding. Sort of. Because the article goes on to say that,
Half of British dads think that summer is a time when they really get to bond with the kids over any other time of year (48%) so they focus on entertaining activities (58%) over educational ones (24%). Kids love spending time with dad too – two thirds of them think dad lets them get away with things that mum doesn’t.
The top ten activities dads are likely to do to entertain their children this summer are:
1) Cook and bake with the kids (34%)
2) Play football (31%)
3) Visit the grandparents’ house (30%)
4) Go for a bike ride (27%)
5) Have a picnic (24%)
6) Play with water pistols (22%)
7) Have a family barbecue (22%)
8) Play with loom bands (22%)
9) Spend the day at the nearest beach (21%)
10) Colouring (20%)
The top ten activities dads remember doing with their parents over the summer holidays when they were a child are:
1) Play football (26%)
2) Visit the grandparents’ house (24%)
3) Cook and bake with the kids (23%)
4) Go for a bike ride (22%)
5) Play with water pistols (17%)
6) Arts and crafts (17%)
7) Have a picnic (16%)
8) Play street games (15%)
9) Go to the cinema (14%)
10) Spend the day at the nearest beach (13%)
Interesting, isn't it?
Personally, as I've said, cricket on a nearby field with friends was the thing I remember doing most often in those long, hot summer holidays. Dad played too, if he was able. The field was rather rough and grazed by cows, as I remember.
Which led to rather an unfortunate incident involving a cricket ball and a freshly laid cow-pat.
My dad was batting at the time.
But that was the end of the game.
Ah, happy days!