Are Daddy Dates creepy or cute?

A recent viral clip of an American dad taking his three-year-old on a proper dinner date complete with flowers and fancy threads had me in tears. It was so sweet, and I insisted my hubby jump on the bandwagon and start a similar tradition with our two-year-old.

Yet when I spoke to some friends about it, they felt the whole thing was a little creepy and, well, American. One mate made the point that you don’t date your daughter, nor do you babysit them — you are simply doing what all parents should do, and that is look after your children, and some times are simply more special than others.

Parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson, from, is a father of six girls and is all for Daddy dates. “I take each of my six daughters on a regular Friday arvo date,” he says. “It’s one a week. Because the baby is so little, we do the cycle every five weeks. Then on the sixth week I take them all on a weekend camp.  It keeps relationships strong and kids love being connected to their Dad.”

Like my friend, however, he agrees that the concept of ‘Daddy Dates’ really is just part of being a parent. “I see the ‘branding’ as nothing more than giving a name to a given activity. As another example, once a week we have a ‘family night’. That’s branded too, but really, we’re just parenting, and the kids love it.”

Call it what you like, I think it’s a brilliant idea.

Not because it’s special daddy-daughter time, which it is.

Nor because it teaches a little girl how she should be treated by a guy when she is old enough to date, which it aims to do.

Nor because it’s a great way to learn about what is going on in your daughter’s life — sneaky but clever, Dad!

But because it means I get a wee bit of quiet time while the two of them head out of the house, leaving me in peace. Everyone’s a winner!

Cute ideas for Daddy Daughter dates

1) Two words: Ice cream

2)  Stay at home and build a cubby with blankets.

3) Put together a silly outfit at a second hand store.

4) Visit a pet store.

5) Get all dressed up and go out to a fancy dinner.

6) Go to a library or book store and read together.

7) Take her out to get a manicure and pedicure (do it with her).

8) Sign-up to walk or run for a cause.

9) Take her out to breakfast before school.

10) Go for a photowalk. Give her a camera and tell her to look for things no one else would see, and capture it with a picture.

When all else fails, go back to ice cream — and bring some back for Mum!

For more ideas, head to