Relate has found that people believe they have a better relationship with their father than their mother. In fact, 55% think that they have a better bond with their mum than their dad. The reality is 6% Brits feel that their relationship is fairly or very bad with the male role model in their life.
With Father's day looming, Relate counsellor, Peter Saddington says that there are several things that can be done to try and improve this lack of connection.
He said: "Every dad's different, but some can find it tricky to express their emotions, which can affect the way their children perceive the relationship. Sometimes, fathers may try to show they care by offering help with practical things like finances or driving lessons, but shy away from providing emotional support.
"This means people may feel closer to their mum than their dad, when in fact their relationship with their dad is just as strong. I'd advice fathers who're struggling to communicate with their kids to take a few more risks - tell your teenage son that you're there to talk if he ever needs to, or give your grown-up daughter a hug. It may feel uncomfortable to start with if you haven't always been this open, but it's never too late to start and it'll show your kids how much you really care. The same goes for children - even as adults tell your dad how much you care this Father's Day and other days of the year as well."
Relate's tips for better communication with dads
Notice actions as well as words: Dads may do things for you rather than talk to you about your feelings. Look out for the signs- he may not hug you or tell you he loves you but he will show it in other ways- such as making sure your car is regularly serviced for you to keep you safe.
Take more risks: Let it out and tell him how you feel about him- it may feel uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it the easier it will get with time.
Make use of technology: Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook and texting are all a means of staying in touch if you don't live together- sometimes it's easier to express emotions over such as this rather than face to face.
Have a regular meet-up: Meeting up as regularly as you can for some quality time will help to bond you both further- even if it's for a coffee or to eat dinner together once a week.
Don't stop trying: We are all able to learn new skills and improve our communication with our family- irrespective of age and gender.