Thursday, April 12, 2007

Worshiping Your Hero on Father's Day

Our fathers: from the time we were small, it seemed like there wasn’t anything they didn’t know or couldn’t do. Forget Spiderman and Superman, you had your own hero sitting right on the couch. As we mature, go through our awkward and rebellious teen phases and get a better understanding of how the world works, our impressions of our fathers change. Could be we think he’s even more amazing than we did when we were kids. Could be we realize that he can’t actually pull quarters out from behind our ears – although we love that he tries. This Father’s Day, bring back some of that childhood adulation by making your dad feel like a real hero.

Making it all about the man
Father’s Day is about the relationship between a father and his children, but it’s too easy for this big day to become more about the kids than about Dad. When you’re planning Father’s Day activities, think first about the things your dad likes to do best, then find ways to make them family-friendly. If he likes fishing, buy rods for the kids and yourself and get him to teach you his secrets. If he’s into history programs, take a trip to the museum with a stop or two at the kids’ section to keep the little ones entertained.

To build a stronger relationship with your dad, make Father’s Day a Father’s Weekend. The Saturday before Father’s Day, find ways to share your own interests with him. While he’s never going to really get what makes a pair of Steve Madden’s so fabulous, he might be open to learning about your favorite painters, going for a walk or jog along your running trail or trying a new kind of cuisine from your favorite restaurant. Sharing your interests with him and learning more about what makes him tick can strengthen your bond.

Great giving
A key part of Father’s Day is giving Dad a gift that shows him how important he is to you. Remember, as with all gift-giving, money doesn’t matter. A thoughtful present that cost only a few dollars is better than dropping a few hundred on a gift that you figured was “good enough”.

It can be hard coming up with gift ideas for Dad, so it’s a good idea to start early. The best strategy for gift giving is to pick up items throughout the year when you see something that would make the perfect present. Stash them in a safe place and keep track of what you’ve bought. If it’s close to Father’s Day and you still don’t have a gift, this strategy isn’t going to be much help!

When you’re choosing a gift for Father’s Day, even if it’s last minute, don’t go generic. Not every dad wants a new barbecue tool set or drill. Think about things you did together when you were a child and look for gifts that can help recreate those happy memories. Or plan a gift that you can enjoy together. Arrange to take cooking lessons or go sky diving. A peaceful trail ride at a local horse ranch or a friendly round of golf at the country club are great ways to reconnect.

No matter how you choose to spend Father’s Day, be sure to take the time to tell your dad how much he means to you. You don’t have to go overboard with the mushiness if it makes you uncomfortable, just put a few heartfelt words in a card and give him a hug. Remember, actions speak louder than words.

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