A father plays a vital role in one’s upbringing, but after the days of sitting on Daddies shoulders and playing soccer in the park have become nothing more than a distant memory, most of us tend to forget how deserving our fathers are of a little special attention.
According to a recent study by Kira Birditt, a researcher at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR), middle-aged children are often less invested in the parent-child tie because they’re likely to have formed their own families and are caught in the demands of multiple roles.
As parents age and come to want or need more from their relationship with adult children, many adult children pull away, creating even greater relationship tensions. These tensions are often more upsetting and harmful to parents’ mental wellbeing than to children because parents have invested more into the relationship.
“This Father’s Day, we suggest to those who have flown the nest to take some time to reconnect with their fathers by tackling a DIY project at their homes with them. Not only is this a great way to spend quality time together, but it is also a great way to leave behind a memento of how much you still care about them even though you’re no longer living under one roof,” explains Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Of course, the type of project you tackle all depends on the type of father you have.
Below are Goslett’s suggestions of the projects you can tackle for each type of dad this Father’s Day:
The Novice (Level: Easy)
“There are some men who do not even own a toolbox. For those that belong to this category, it is important not to be too ambitious. Try something simple like a DIY coat rack that can be hung up in the entrance hall. You can purchase a pre-cut piece of timber and some hooks at most hardware stores.
Then you simply need to paint or varnish the wood, drill the hooks into the board, and your project is done. As an additional project (or for those who simply cannot build anything from scratch), you could go through the house with your dad and tighten any loose screws, put up any frames that might be locked away in storage, or fill any cracks and give the room a fresh coat of paint.”
The Occasional Tinkerer (Level: Moderate)
“These are typically the men who refuse to call in somebody when they can do it just as easily themselves. The list of potential projects broadens in this category. One which is particularly handy for Winter is an outdoor wooden-slatted doormat. For this project, all you will need is equal length strips of wood (varnished or painted with hardy outdoor paint), some thick rope and some nuts.
After having drilled holes at both ends of all the wooden strips, string the rope through and place a nut between each strip of wood. Once through the last wooden slat, tie a knot at each end of the mat to prevent any unravelling.”
The Tool Man (Level: Advanced)
“For this kind of father, the options are endless. You can tackle just about anything, from building a coffee table or armchair from scratch to renovating an entire room. If your dad has the space, you could offer to spend the weekend helping him create a ‘man cave’ in his garage or garden shed.
You could work together on projects like a collapsible workstation (all you’d need for this is some wood and some hinges), a hanging tool rack (which can be fashioned out of cork board and strategically placed nails), and perhaps a lick of paint and some laminated flooring which can be self-installed.”
“The focus on all of these projects is not really the end result, but more the process of tackling a project with your father or your children. Keep this in mind and your DIY Father’s Day will be a success – even if all you have to show for it at the end of the day is a hammer-inflicted injury, paint-stained jeans and a story to laugh about in years to come,” Goslett concludes.