It’s Father’s Day on Sunday, when dads across the country will wake up to novelty socks, wacky beer mugs and quirky cufflinks.
But not in our house. We don’t believe in silly things like that, nor do my family mark Mother’s Day, Grandparent’s Day or any of those, in my opinion, completely unnecessary anniversaries.
My belief is that every day should be father’s day and mother’s day rolled into one.
Rather than fake adulation from the kids for half-an-hour on one Sunday morning a year, each day should see loving parents given the adoration and respect they deserve.
Every day should see children – particularly teenagers – making their beds, tidying their rooms, helping their parents to put away shopping, and - above all else – being grateful for the food on their plates and the roof over their heads.
Except it doesn’t happen like that. It’s the exact opposite.
On Father’s Day, my husband will get treated with the usual disdain by my daughters – spoken to like a below-stairs servant: “Daaad! When’s my tea ready?” “Daaad, where’s my jeans?” “Daaad! Can I have a lift?”
Or he will be largely ignored, addressed only to be reminded that he is a blithering idiot and not worthy of conversation: “What do you know?” “You’re so stupid,” “You’re such a drainer.”
That’s the latest buzzword my 16-year-old daughter is using to describe me and her dad.
I looked it up on the internet and got images of washing-up accessories, so who knows where it comes from.
I blame my husband for this general lack of respect. As a father, he’s not strict enough, he’s of the “Yes, I’m okay with that, but ask your mother,” school of parenting, which labels me the party pooper when I say no. I’m quite stern and headmasterly, but one against two isn’t 100 per cent effective.
When I was a child my dad had the utmost respect from us, and if he was cross we quaked in our boots.
I would never have called him the sort of names my husband is subjected to – well, not to his face.
Let them know who’s boss, that’s what dads like my husband should do on Father’s Day. “You WILL eat what you’re given and you WILL NOT complain.”
Dads are too eager to please, pussy-footing around.
My husband sometimes offers to make different meals for our picky daughters, something I would never do.”
I blame all this new man business, all this nicey-nicey nurturing, from birth onwards. Not that dads should be ogres, but they really do need to exert their authority – at least the one in our house does.