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Father’s Day is right around the corner on Sunday, 20 June 2021, and it is likely to be a quiet, intimate affair for most families.

Over the years, Father’s Day has always had less fanfare than Mother’s Day, much like how Dad is conventionally more restrained in the ways he expresses affection. As a result, his part in the family is sometimes underrated. (It’s a thankless job, but someone has to do it.)

The fact is that fathers show their unconditional devotion to the family by playing diverse roles. Not all fathers fit into a stereotypical mould, but if you find yourself nodding to any one of them, it’s high time to start planning a celebration befitting the most important men in your life.

1. Provider

In most households, Dad works full-time up until or beyond retirement age. His main goal? To make sure the kids have enough to eat, the electricity stays running at home and there is perhaps enough for an annual vacation. So, if Dad appears distracted at times during weekdays, cut him a little slack and have a little heart-to-heart chat at night to check if he’s facing stress at work.

2. Protector

Fathers are naturally hard-wired to protect their family from harm. It is no wonder why teenagers (and even grown men) can get nervous meeting their partner’s old man for the very first time. With Dad around, kids at every age have their own personal superhero to defend them against anything untoward.

3. Playmate

Dads can’t read a bedtime story without making up different (and hilarious) voices for the different characters in the book. He’s also the goofy monster children play pretend with, and the kids’ go-to parent for sports. It takes immense energy to engage with children in play, so this is the ultimate display of love from Dad.

4. Comforter

When Mum is sad, Dad is one of the best persons to hear her out and make her feel better. There is also nothing that feels more reassuring for a crying child than being picked up and held in the strong arms of dad. He may not be so good with words at times, but he makes up for it with his calmness and strength.

5. Cheerleader

Dads are the most eager supporters when babies take their first step, and the loudest fans at their children’s school competitive games. When the going gets tough, he says “Keep going!” to bring out his children’s can-do spirit.

6. Counsellor

Males are not often known for their sensitivity; rather, many pride themselves on their left-brained logical approach to most things in life. When there is a dicey situation that children (and even other adults in the family) face, Dads can be counted on to approach the problem calmly and rationally, bring in his experience for wisdom and help co-create possible solutions.

7. Coach

Fathers coach in a variety of ways. In their kids’ early life, he could be the one teaching them how to swim or to kick a ball around. As his kids grow up, he might start guiding them how to problem-solve or derive a “strategy” to manage their life and studies. The best part about engaging Dad as a coach is that his services are always free and pretty much available 24/7.