Recognizing single dads this Father's Day

Jun 6, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. ET

The number of single dads in Canada is on the rise, and for all they do, they deserve to be feted and praised à la their counterpart moms. It's time to honour the dudes who do the parenting on their own! Here are some ways to celebrate them on June 15.

If he's your best bud: Hire a cleaner

Let's be real here: No one — no one — wants to clean the bathroom. It's perhaps the most disgusting room in the house. So treat your pal to a week off of scrubbing toilets and power-washing the shower by tackling the task yourself. Can't handle the idea of cleaning? Why not splurge on your pal by hiring a cleaner to do his chores for a solid month? This will extend his Father's Day glow and give him some time to do what he loves most: enjoy quality time with his kids.

If he's a dad in your child's playgroup: Order in dinner

Single dads everywhere spend at least a chunk of their day fretting over what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner. "What do the kids want? What don't they enjoy eating? What's their favourite dish?" All of that planning and preparing can be exhausting. This Father's Day, treat the dad who does it all to a takeout dinner for him and his kids. Simply ask the moms in your playgroup for a wee contribution to the feast. Get his kids involved by asking them what food you should order. From there you can slip him a note to say "dinner's on the playgroup crew." His taste buds will be tickled.

Want more great-for-dad gift ideas? We've got what you need right here >>

If he's your brother: Help his kids plan a "Dad" day

Most dads are big kids, so why not help your nieces and/or nephews plan a day of all things fun for their perfect pa? Be their chauffeur for the day, and make pit stops at the places everyone thinks he'll love most — the playground, the ice cream parlour, the mall, etc. For the grand finale, help the wee ones organize a night at a sporting event or a backyard BBQ. Not only will your bro relish the relaxing time he can spend with his kids, but the joy you'll feel from seeing (and contributing to) their smiling faces will be worth any and all the effort you made.

If he's your neighbour: Cut his grass

We know men say they "love trimming the back 40," but why not give him a break from summer's humidity and heat by pushing the mower for him? Better yet, to ensure he takes some time to "cool his hoofies," hand him a copy of his favourite magazine, a beer and a Muskoka chair, and set his kids up with a babysitter.

If he's your colleague: Clean his car

Single dads spend most of their time thinking about their kids and how to give them the best in life. The result is that they sacrifice some of the little luxuries they'd like to splurge on. That can include a proper "pimping of their ride" (a.k.a. a car cleanup.) Around June 15, ask your colleagues to contribute a toonie or loonie to a slush fund to treat your office bud to a motor makeover. Get the car's interior vacuumed, scrub some bubbles over the exterior, buff the rims... You can even ride with him to the dealership. It's a cheap and sweet treat that'll show him you want to high-five all he does.

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