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Family & Relationships

8 Ways to Show Dad You Love Him

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“World’s Greatest Dad” mugs and ties are nice and all, but, this year, consider moving beyond the purchases for Father’s Day and get personal.

Spend some time thinking about what your dad likes to do, or ways that you could help him, and plan accordingly. In the process, try to make your dad’s health, and your family’s health, a priority for this year’s celebration, whether you’re finding ways to relieve stress, become more active, eat healthier, or challenge the mind. Find an activity you can enjoy together, and the memory will last well into the future.

  • Ask him to make a “honey do” list. You’ve probably heard of the old “honey do” list: “honey, do the laundry; honey, do yard work.” Usually, they’re shared among couples. This year, ask Dad to make a “honey do” list that you can complete. Maybe he needs help with the lawn, or he wants to paint the house and clean the gutters. If he wants to join in, make the most of your time together. Otherwise, tell him to enjoy his day off.
  • Interview him about his life. Some dads need prompting to get them to talk about their past. But if you don’t know much about your dad’s life before you came along, now is the time to find out. Download a recording app or grab a tape recorder and write down questions that will help you fill in the blanks. Ask about his parents and his childhood; What pets did he have? What were his siblings like as kids? What were their favorite things to do? What did he dream of being? Did he always want to be a dad? As Dad takes you on a trip down memory lane, it could be eye-opening for you both. While you’re at it, be sure and ask him about your family’s health history, so you can be informed. Transcribe the interview so you have it in the future (if you’re feeling ambitious, you could even write his memoir). Your kids – and even their kids – may one day love learning about their relatives.
  • Get moving together. The best gift anyone can share may well be support, motivation, and health. Whether your dad is currently active or needs a little encouragement to warm up the ol’ muscles, now is the time. Find an activity you think you’ll enjoy together and ask your dad if he’ll join in, whether it’s walking, jogging, golfing, tennis, or even joining a recreational team, like softball or soccer. You could even consider a family membership to the local gym, if you think he’ll be game.
  • Plan a multigenerational family trip. Rather than spending money on the latest gadget, put your heart and time into planning a getaway for the whole family. It doesn’t have to be a globetrotting adventure (although that’s great, too!). It can be as simple as an overnight camping trip or a brief jaunt to a relative’s house. The key is exploring new places together.
  • Cook a meal for him. Head to your local farmer’s market or a nearby farm to choose fresh fruits and vegetables and lean cuts of meat. Then, find some summer-centric recipes and cook a feast fit for a king, inviting all of the family to gather round and celebrate dad.
  • Help level up his cooking game. If your dad is a culinary king, think about things you could give him to help expand his repertoire in a healthy fashion. Spices are a great gift for people looking to try new flavors and cut down on salt, and you can even make your own spice blends. If he loves to grill, consider making him barbecue sauce or a healthy marinade. Make a list of cooking apps that have healthy recipes that might help expand his repertoire, and offer to download them for him.
  • Get that garden growing. Offer to help your dad plant or even build a garden. It’s an easy and inexpensive way to keep a constant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand (which he can incorporate into his cooking). Plus, gardens get you moving and can be an ongoing source of entertainment and stress relief, as you harvest your bounty all season long.
  • Check out a tai chi or yoga class together. Whether he’s retired or still working, odds are, your dad has some stress in his life (who doesn’t?). Yoga and tai chi are two practices that can help strengthen muscles while relaxing the mind. Often, community centers, municipal programs, or even libraries will offer free or low-cost classes. Make a date of it and go together.

Father’s Day couldn’t come at a better time of year. This June, get your family together for some sunshine, fresh air, and rejuvenation as you celebrate Dad. Experiences are gifts to remember – and they won’t collect dust, like a mug will.

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