9 amazingly useful things our dads taught us

This article will make you rush to the greetings card shop with gratitude this Father’s Day

Father's Day is coming up on 21 June. If you're umming and ahing about whether or not to get your dad a gift, just think about all the things he taught you for which should be thankful, whether it's riding a bike or blagging it in the kitchen.

Everyone's dad is different, but here are a few of the invaluable lessons we learned from ours...

1. How to drive a car

car on road

(Image credit: TBC)

Remember the first time you ever got behind the wheel of a car? It was probably when your dad took you out (off-road) to show you how the gears worked. Yes, he may have not been very patient, but those first few lessons are crucial for gaining confidence. After numerous lessons and several tests, we got there in the end. Thanks dad.

2. Basic decorating skills

women cleaning house wall

(Image credit: TBC)

Us home obsessives have a lot to thank our dad's for. He was probably the first person to show you how to fill a hole, sand it down and start painting. Where would we be without him...

3. How to tie a tie

bunch of ties

(Image credit: TBC)

Remember that first day of school when you tried on your brand new uniform for the first time?

You pulled it on eagerly until, buttoning your shirt and straightening your socks until you found yourself completely flummoxed by the final item of clothing: the dreaded school tie.

Luckily dad was a master tie tyer from years of wearing one to work so, with a bit of help from him (and your favourite teddy as a model), your tiny fingers were soon able to navigate the knot until it was only a little bit wonky.

If dad was feeling a bit mischievous, he might also have shown you how to instantly transform your tie into a handy Rambo-style accessory - perfect for playtime.

4. How to change a plug

plug switch

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There's nothing more embarrassing than having to call a handyman to fix things you know you really should be able to fix yourself.

Thank goodness dad showed you how to change a plug all those years ago. Now if only he'd taught you how to fix the washing machine as well...

5. How to ride your bike

kids bicycle

(Image credit: TBC)

"Don't let go!" you squealed as you rode your bike without stabilisers for the first time. But of course dad did let go and, before you knew it, you were pedalling along with the wind in your hair and a grin on your face.

Dad, meanwhile, looked on with pride before turning away because "he'd got something in his eye".

6. How to act like a chef in the kitchen (even if you can't actually cook)

chef cutting coriander with kitchen knife

(Image credit: TBC)

It doesn't matter what you're making or whether you have the skills to make it. The most important thing in the
kitchen, as dad always taught you, was to act like you own it.

That way, even scrambled eggs on toast becomes a gourmet meal to be proud of.

And of course you should always use the biggest, shiniest, most high-tech kitchen gadgets you can lay your hands on.

7. How to barbecue like a pro


(Image credit: TBC)

Barbecuing is a competitive sport, and your dad was a champion.

Waiting hours for the flames to get hot, perfecting that crunchy charcoal case around the sausages and managing not to give everyone salmonella poisoning all take years of training. Thankfully you learned from the best.

8. How to treasure your record collection

bookcase with chair

(Image credit: TBC)

Once upon a time, your dad was your biggest musical influence.

It was a role he took very seriously, introducing you to the great artists of his era, showing you how to treat records with the utmost respect... and only yelling a little bit when you accidentally let the record player needle scratch his favourite LP.

Today, your musical tastes may have diverged, but you still store your CDs in alphabetical order, just like dad taught you.

9. How to get out of doing chores... and get away with it

living room with fireplace

(Image credit: TBC)

This is the single most valuable skill any father can pass on to his child. How it works is a mystery. You can probably only master it if you become a dad yourself.

Loved this? Check out the amazingly useful things our mums have taught us too...





Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.