Father’s Day is a celebration of all things Dad. This Sunday, don’t buy him something he probably doesn’t need. Spend the day with him laughing, reminiscing and making memories.
Not everyone has a perfect relationship with his or her parents but we need to remember that they really do care. Fathers are an integral component in our upbringing and shape who we are as adults in a very different way to mothers. The ‘dad effect’ (when a father is actively involved in a child’s upbringing) is real and has a positive effect on future successes.
They worry about things differently and can veer between being strict authoritarians to the one you turn to in times of need. And, they always offer sage advice (that you don’t want to hear), crack dad jokes only they find funny; and are equal parts overprotective / unfair (especially to teenage daughters) / loving and willing to go to the ends of the earth for you.
This year, forget about cards with extravagant messages and the typical mug or impersonal brunch for Dad. Do something thoughtful which will mean the world to him – it will be more fun, memorable and cheaper!
Write a letter
Write, not type, a heartfelt letter about why you appreciate your father. Don’t write about the big things he did like provide education, food and lodging, but rather the things that made a real impact on your life, e.g. when he taught you to ride a bike, play badminton, took you on an unforgettable holiday, when he cried at your wedding. Give him these written memories and you can be sure he’ll cherish it.
Take a day trip
Everyone loves a road / day trip. Decide to head somewhere an hour’s drive from where you are. If you live in the city, head out to explore smaller towns nearby, try the food, take a walk or pack a picnic. Go to a place no one’s been before. Plan the trip with him or surprise him – either way a day away is always fun.
As we get older, so do our parents, and their mortality becomes a real issue. We all lead such full and busy lives, we sometimes forget that time really is a gift. Sit down with him and ask questions about his childhood, reminisce together about when you were young or just chat. Make a video or voice recording of the moment so you can play it back later for your own children.
Sign up for a class
Bond over something neither of you has done before. Don’t tell him what it is so it’s a nice surprise and so he can’t say, “No, I don’t want to do a magician’s course with you!” Go art jamming, sign up for a pottery class, golf lesson, cooking class – anything that’s unique and something neither of you would normally do.
Sports or the great outdoors
If your dad likes a certain sport, spend a couple of hours either playing a round or game with him. If there’s a match being shown on TV, go to his favourite pub to watch it or just hang out at home and watch it together. Go for a hike, bike ride, fishing, bowling or head to a park for a picnic with the grandchildren.
A good time had is always better than a material gift no matter how much it costs. You can’t put a price on your father’s love and time. Happy Father’s Day! And, if he really wants the champagne brunch, bring him for that too!