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Five things to give Dad on Father’s Day

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Carolyn Schmitz
06/12/2014 2:30 PM

By Jude Bijou, MA MFT

What do you have planned for Father’s Day this year? A barbecue? A nice card? Maybe tickets to a baseball game?

Those are all nice presents, but what Dad really wants is to feel valued, respected, appreciated, admired, and loved. On his special day, here are five ways you can let him know how special he is, and how essential he is to the whole family.

Craft an “appreciation message.”

Have the kids write a list of things Dad does that they and you really appreciate. For example, helping with homework; coaching Little League; driving them to the mall; working hard to support the family. Now, get creative. Write these appreciations on a card that you all decorate together. Or make a short video with each family member reading his or her list. You can even turn the list into a poem, skit or puppet show.

Hold a “learn about Dad” game.

Have everyone in the family write down one question to ask Dad. For example, “What’s one of your happiest childhood memories?” or “What job would you have liked if you hadn’t chosen this profession?” Around the dinner table or afterward, ask him the questions, one by one. You can make it more fun by having him guess who wrote the question. Be sure to listen to his answers without interrupting.

Do a dreaded chore for him.

Do a task you’ve been meaning to do for Dad, or one he hates to do and has been putting off. For example, clean up the garage, mow the lawn or fix the broken fence. If you can’t think of anything, ask him what chore he’d like you to do, and cheerfully say, “Sure!” Pitching in as a team to help him is a great way to make Dad feel supported.

Plan a family event.

Ask him what he’d like to do as a family on Father’s Day, and tell him to be selfish and choose something he really loves. Maybe he wants to go to the beach, or go fishing, or to a ball game, or have a cookout and his favorite cake for dessert. Maybe he just wants to sleep in and watch a movie. Whatever it is, make him feel like a king by granting his wish and arranging all the details.

Be on your best behavior.

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s harder than you think. For Father’s Day, honor him by being your best self. Don’t complain. Don’t argue. Don’t bring up old grievances. Stay focused on the positives in the present. Be a great listener. Give Dad a big hug and kiss, and tell him how lucky you feel that he’s the dad. It will be very gratifying for him to see that his family is making a team effort to be on their best behavior to show him how much he is truly loved.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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