National Play Day with Dad falls on November 25. This day is dedicated to encouraging fathers to take a more active role in their children’s lives and spend the day engaging with their children in various activities. All parents are guilty of spending more time tending to their children than having fun with them. It comes with the territory. Parenting isn’t always fun. This is the day for you to put aside your duties and plan some fun activities with your children. Plan a day of fun adventures and give your children some extra love on this special holiday.
History of National Play Day with Dad
Throughout history and all over the world, mothers have always been regarded as the primary caretakers of children. Parenthood starts with mothers but it doesn’t have to end with them. For centuries, fathers took the backseat and resorted to simply providing for the family. There was a time when this division of roles was essential for our survival, but it’s not anymore.
In the 20th century, men were not allowed to attend births or support mothers through labor. Men found that it wasn’t their place and women didn’t want their husbands to see them in that way. Some fathers would go to a bar until the ordeal was over. In the 1950s, few hospitals encouraged men to join in on the process, but the notable changes began in the 1960s. It was only then that fathers were allowed to stay in the room during labor, and in the ‘70s and ‘80s, they were allowed to attend their child’s birth. The perspective began to shift from there.
There is tremendous progress for new fathers who are becoming more involved in caring for their households. More and more parents have a dual income, splitting their household chores and childcare. A 2016 study found that 16% of American fathers were stay-at-home dads and that only 27% of couples with young children had fathers as their sole breadwinners. Fathers are now spending eight hours a week caring for children and ten hours doing household chores. This is still much work to be done as many families still see childcare as a woman’s job. This holiday is one step forward towards encouraging fathers to take on a more active role in caring for their children.
National Play Day with Dad timeline
Expectant fathers wait in bars until their children are born.
University College Hospital in London is one of the first hospitals to encourage men to attend their children’s births.
Several studies are published on the effects of men attending births, most of which encourage men to join the experience.
More hospitals allow fathers to be a part of the childbirth experience.
National Play Day with Dad FAQs
Are fathers an important part of a baby’s early life?
Studies have shown that involved fathers positively impact their households in many ways. Affectionate fathers raise children who excel socially and academically.
What is a father’s role during birth?
Fathers should keep the mothers relaxed by offering help or emotional support and taking any stress or responsibility on themselves to ensure a safe delivery.
How much time should fathers spend with their children?
It’s encouraged for fathers to spend at least one hour a day with their children.
National Play Day with Dad Activities
Plan fun activities with your kids
Any parent knows that kids are changing every minute and so are their interests. Make a list of fun activities that your kid will enjoy doing with you. Go to a theme park, play in an arcade, play dress-up and host a party, or go to the beach and build sandcastles.
Start new habits
Make this day the first of many that you dedicate to hanging out with your child. Find an activity that both you and your child enjoy and make it a habit. It could be reading together at bedtime, taking a short walk, or spending an hour playing with toys. Even the little things make a difference.
Talk to your kids
It might seem like a given, but parents too often treat their kids like children and not people. There’s nothing children like more than being talked to like an intelligent person. Have genuine conversations with your kids and tell them about your childhood and what you liked to do for fun.
5 Facts About Fathers And Childcare
Finland has closed the gap in childcare
Finland is the only country with fathers spending more time with their children than mothers, where fathers receive nine weeks of paternity leave with 70% of their salary, encouraging them to spend extra time with their babies.
Most U.S. states give no paternity leave
Only 5% of new fathers take paternity leave, which is no surprise considering the only states to offer paid paternity leave are California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York, whereas fathers in Lithuania get 30 days of leave with 77% of their salary.
Fathers have the ‘love hormone’ too
It was thought that only mothers experience a release of oxytocin at the time of birth that makes them feel an instant attachment to their baby, but evidence shows that new fathers bond with their newborns through a release of oxytocin as well.
Roughhousing helps in development
Fathers often love to roughhouse and play-wrestle with their little ones, which is good for the child’s development as it teaches children to read social cues and to ensure they don’t get too rough.
Children without fathers struggle in every aspect
Children who grow up with absent or uninvolved fathers have a higher risk of being incarcerated on growing up and are much less likely to marry.
Why We Love National Play Day with Dad
It encourages fathers to support mothers
Pregnancy and birth are no longer only a mother’s experience. Fathers have become more active by participating in birthing classes and going to hospital checkups. This holiday encourages more men to support mothers through their pregnancy instead of viewing it as a waiting period.
It reminds fathers to take a break
Often fathers see their main role as parents as providing for their kids, and they forget to take the time to get to know their children. This serves as a reminder to spend some extra time with your kids every day and engage in their interests.
It encourages parents to spend time with their kids
This holiday is helpful for mothers and fathers alike. Even mothers often forget to take the time to do fun things with their kids. This holiday is a reminder for all that it’s important to make fun memories with your kids.
National Play Day with Dad dates