Top 50 Dad Skills – How many do you have?

Being calm during family arguments and the ability to drive while constantly distracted are among the key ‘Dad Skills’ every father should have.

They top a list of 50 ‘Dad Skills’ which each dad should have mastered by the time their little one reaches the teenage years – including fitting loose bicycle chains, replacing batteries and plastering holes in walls.


1. Being calm during family arguments
2. Driving while constantly being distracted
3. Fixing a bike puncture
4. Un-doing difficult knots
5. Putting up a tent
6. Keeping confidences
7. Double checking nothing has been left behind
8. Setting up and tuning the TV
9. Cooking on a barbeque
10. Tying shoe laces
11. Blowing up lots of balloons
12. Tying school ties
13. Changing a tyre
14. Setting up WiFi
15. Plastering holes in walls
16. Flipping pancakes
17. Putting up a bunk bed
18. Teaching to swim
19. Able to cook a fry-up
20. Setting up a new game on the computer
21. Lighting a fire
22. Fixing toys
23. Telling bad jokes
24. Go-to person for opening jars
25. Setting up a new games console
26. Cleaning stains off carpets
27. Fitting a loose bicycle chain
28. Removing adhesive substances off surfaces
29. Taking kids to after school clubs
30. Removing toys from tough packaging
31. Setting up new toys
32. Teaching how to play football
33. Taking good family photos
34. Pumping up footballs
35. Picking blackberries
36. Flying kites
37. Making a good bacon sandwich
38. Rebooting computers
39. Setting up a paddling pool
40. Fixing scooters
41. Building tricky playsets
42. Updating mobile phones
43. Putting up birthday banners
44. Always having the right batteries
45. Soothing a nettle sting
46. Role play
47. Installing tricky software on laptops
48. Building good sandcastles
49. Throwing properly
50. Cleaning football boots

The chart, compiled following a study of 2,000 dads, also includes putting up bunk beds, flying kites and making a good bacon sarnie.

Other essential skills include fixing toys, repairing bike punctures, tying ties and blowing up balloons.

Being handy remains a big part of being a dad, as removing toys from tough packaging, setting up TV’s and Wi-Fi, and building tricky playsets are all voted as key to being a good dad.

While dependable dads are also relied on to keep confidences, double checking nothing has been left behind and always being around to tell bad jokes.

Unfortunately, the average dad reckons they’ve mastered just 46 per cent of the skills they’re meant to have learnt.

A spokesperson for Bob the Builder , which commissioned the poll said: “The huge list of ‘Dad Skills’ show just how many roles dads have to fill in the upbringing of their children.

“They’re fixers, builders, comedians, sportsmen, the list is endless.

“It is interesting to see that the majority of the skills which were revealed in this study are ‘hands-on’, requiring dads to be good at mending, making and general DIY – while also keeping their cool and appearing unruffled.”

The study shows fathers are expected to be able to un-do difficult knots, tie up shoe laces and set up new computer games.

Dads are required to have decent cooking skills – in addition to flipping pancakes, they should be able to serve up a decent fry-up and master the perfect barbeques.

As sports captain of the house, dads are relied upon to teach the children how to swim , play football and should have a mighty throw when playing ball-games.

Taking good family photos, opening jars, setting up the paddling pool and building sandcastles are also key ‘dad skills’.

Interestingly, the average dad thinks it takes just under nine years to truly master their role in the house, and seven in 10 say men are now relied on more than ever before to help out and raise the children.

A resounding 96 per cent of those polled think it is important for dads to be practical, and 8 eight in 10 say it is vital they are able to help with DIY tasks around the house.

In fact, 49 per cent of dads have felt a let down on the odd occasion they weren’t able to fix or build something for the children.

And 66 per cent feel it is imperative they pass on their DIY skills and knowledge to their children during quality time together and play.

Six in 10 dads say they are the one the children go to the most when a toy needs fixing, or something needs putting together.

Four in 10 men polled reckon they do more DIY than their own parents did, and 43 per cent are proud to be a ‘handy person’.

The spokesman for Bob the Builder continues:

“It is great to see that modern dads still believe it is important to pass on DIY skills to their children and that they do this by spending quality time together and playing. Not only will this benefit their little ones practically in the future, it also teaches values such as teamwork and positivity”.

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