Gifts and the 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. The lead-up to Father’s Day is the perfect time to reflect on what fatherhood looks like in 21st 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 experts 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. But this takes a toll because dads work the same hours as men who aren’t parents.

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 with home-schooling and keeping pre-schoolers out of mischief.

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.

We all want to honour our dad on Father’s Day by giving him a special gift but the staples of yesteryear such as socks and undies no longer cut the mustard. What gifts do we give our dads in 21st century Australia? 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.

Looking for gift ideas?

But if you are hunting for a more personalised Fathers’ Day gift, consider a gift that is entirely about him. The gift of a memoir or life story enables you to enshrine your dad’s life in the pages of history or capture his voice and image on film. He deserves to be remembered for many years to come, so celebrate his memory today by preserving his distinctive moments.

The professional storytellers at Life Stories Australia believe everyone’s life story is worth telling. They can turn stories into a beautiful hardcover book or video so your dad’s memories will last forever. Through interviews, photographs, videos, and archives, we can produce a memoir or life story for your dad. Get in touch with us today for details.

Gabriella Kelly-Davies

LSA President

Founder Share your life story