The Father's Day Index: Feeling valued
Dad's value is about $24,000 this year, but here's how to make him feel like a million bucks.
When it comes to showing Dad how valuable he is, the simplest moments speak loudest.
"It's the quiet times," says Jim Lin, a San Francisco Bay Area public relations professional and father of two. "It's when you're riding in the car having a conversation, and they're asking you questions. When a kid is interested in what you do and in your perspective, that means a lot. I realize, oh, I matter to him, too."
The true value of dads is priceless, but the value of things dads stereotypically do around the house -- from squashing bugs to fixing leaky faucets -- totals $24,103 a year, according to Insure.com's annual Father's Day Index. The Index is based on a list of common household tasks and associated average wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. See the full list of tasks and wages.
This year Dad's value is up 3 percent from last year's index of $23,344, and up 19 percent from 2012.
The figure doesn't include any salary Dad might earn from a job outside the house, nor does it include parenting and household duties that full-time, stay-at-home dads perform.
Estimating the financial value of the contributions a parent makes to a family is a key step in determining how much life insurance to buy. When choosing a life insurance amount, it’s wise to consider salary replacement, debt, a family emergency fund, future expenses like college and a parent’s value around the house.
The valuable moments
This Father's Day we wanted to know what makes dads feel valued. We asked three popular dad bloggers, and their answers pointed away from fancy gifts and exotic celebrations and toward everyday stuff.
For Lin, creator of The Busy Dad Blog, it's often as simple as seeing the household operate as it should or watching his 12-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter play happily outside.
"It's just knowing I'm providing for them, everything from their physical to emotional needs," he says.
Fred Goodall of Houston, founder of Mocha Dad, a website focused on fatherhood, is passionate about parenting and encouraging men to become better dads and husbands.
"I grew up without my father and so I wanted to do things differently for my family," he says.
Still, like any hands-on dad, he admits it's not always easy. He is the father of two boys, 6 and 10, and a 13-year-old girl.
"Sometimes as a dad you get a little frustrated," he says. "You may tell your kid something over and over again, and when you're trying to get your point across you wonder, 'Are they even listening to me?'"
But then his kids will show in words or actions that they've taken his lessons and examples to heart.
"Those are the moments you really feel valued."
Goodall also treasures the times when his children trust him enough to share their joys and challenges, whether it's confiding in him about a friendship problem or sharing a favorite song.
"You have to appreciate those moments when you get them," he says.
Blogger Trey Burley of Atlanta, founder of parenting website Daddy Mojo, is a stay-at-home father of two young sons.
"What makes me feel valued is when they do the right thing when no one's looking. It shows the things you drive home with them stick," he says. "They're learning while they're watching you."
Burley takes care of the kids on weekdays while his wife works, and they switch roles in the evenings and on the weekends when he catches up on consulting work. Acknowledgment from his wife that taking care of the kids isn't easy goes a long way. "It's reassuring that it really is stressing -- that I'm not doing a bad job during the week."
So how do you show Dad you value him this Father's Day?
Forget about converting the basement into a man cave. A room remodel came in at the bottom among choices for Father's Day gifts, according to an Insure.com survey of dads. Books and cigars were also among the least popular gift ideas.
Instead, consider taking Dad out to eat. Dinner at a favorite restaurant was the top choice, according to the survey, followed by a weekend getaway with the whole family, electronics and tickets to a show or sporting event.
Most dads say they want to spend the day with their kids. Fifty-seven percent prefer celebrating with the whole family and 20 percent say just with the kids. Only 12 percent say their favorite way to spend Father's Day is by themselves and 10 percent say with their wife but without the kids.
The dad bloggers we interviewed say they don't care about purchased gifts on Father's Day, but they treasure handmade cards and crafts from their children.
Burley says his favorite way to spend Father's Day is to go out to breakfast with the family at a nice bagel place and stop by the farmer's market for fresh fruit.
Lin likes to eat and relax with his family and take the day off from worrying.
Goodall still carries in his wallet a laminated card his 6-year-old son made a few years ago in preschool. As for celebrating on Father's Day, each year he and his wife and kids get their photo taken wearing matching T-shirts. He also makes up a questionnaire and asks his kids to fill it out. He saves their hand-written answers from year to year.
More from Insure.com
Whether teaching me how to act, or, unfortunately, how not to act...There is no $$$ to put on what I got out of it.
Obviously, I am where I am today because of my actions and choices, but it all began with Dad and Mom's guidance.
Seriously, no price tag on it!
my wife and kid always remind me how much I'm worth
...when they ask me for some more money
OMG!!!!...... a mainstream media article that actually says something good about fathers. I've been comparing articles in the media on mothers day to fathers day for years. The ratio is about 4 to 1 and the ones on fathers day aren't nearly as positive as the ones on mothers day. In fact, they frequently put NEGATIVE articles about fathers in the news on fathers day. ll stop at nothing to destroy Christian white men.
Furthermore, modern American society seems to think a fathers worth is only in dollars and cents. Doing what they do to divorced or unwed fathers in this country and calling it child support is like calling a brutal gang rape a love affair. Furthermore, "visitation" (why is a father considered a visitor with his own child?) is only enforced if she doesn't tell the right lies and doesn't have the right corrupt lawyer who knows the right corrupt judge.
A woman and I made a child out of wedlock. She was sent to 4 years of nursing school on the state and I was sent to 2 years of jail. That's equal justice under the law American style. The Constitution may as well be printed on toilet paper.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY GUYS!
I will be spending Fathers day with my step-father. A real Father. A man who stepped-up when he didn't have to. Put-up when he didn't have to. Paid for braces and prom dresses when he didn't have to. He gave me and my sibling's a far better life our biological father was supposed to try to give us but didn't want to and made sure he didn't. So my step father will always be the one celebrated as Dad. He earned it.
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