Like so many women, I grew up as my Daddy’s Little Girl. But with age, I sometimes feel I’m drifting from the hero who used to carry me on his shoulders. These days, when I’m swamped with work, family, kids, I have to admit that my relationship with my father seems to have faded into the background. So in celebration of Father’s Day, step up and strengthen your bond with Dad. Here are our tips to help you do just that.
1. Share Your Memories, starring Dad
He may figure now that you’re an adult, you’ve forgotten all about the canoe trip he took you on, or the time you rang the doorbell drunk. Reminiscing makes the good times come alive.
2. Join His World
Grab your golf clubs and hit the course together. Or grab a sponge when he soaps up the car. Since men tend to connect through activity, just your proximity will make his day.
3. Make Him Part of Your Life
You may think he’s not interested, but chances are, he’d love to hear firsthand that you’re up for VP or your son just made the basketball team.
4. Ask His Advice
Dads love to feel needed. If he’s handy with tools and your heater is on the fritz, ask him if he'd mind taking a look. When you're planning your next backyard barbeque, ask him if you can have the recipe for his famous mesquite barbeque sauce. You're never too old to ask Dad for help.
5. Don’t Make Mom the Road to Dad
Since she’s the one you’re usually chatting with on the phone and it’s easy to ask her all the questions. Next time he answers the phone, don’t let him pass you off to Mom so fast.
6. Call or Visit
When your schedule is full, he’s probably the first one to fall off your radar. So make a point of pencilling him in. If he lives too far for a visit, a phone call or even a quick e-mail will show you care.
7. His Childhood
You’ll understand him better if you know where he comes from. Maybe he has a hard time hugging because his own dad never hugged him. Maybe he’s so careful with money because as a child, he had none. Let him tell you about where he went to school and what he did in his youth. He'll probably tell you more than he did when you were young and he needed to set a good example for you.
8. Father-Daughter Outing
You’ll connect best when it’s just the two of you. So in honour of Father’s Day, make a reservation at his favourite restaurant, buy tickets to a concert, or map out a bike route. Whatever you decide, make it clear that it’s your day with your dad and no one else is on the guest list.
9. Respect His Role as Grandpa
Keep in mind that no matter how strong your relationship with him, he has a separate one with your kids, and it’s valuable. At your house, he may be your daughter’s favourite babysitter or your son’s very own private football coach.
10. Send a Token
Sure, he’ll expect a gift on Father’s Day, but don’t stop there. If you see something your dad would love, whether it's the latest audiobook by his favourite author, or an apron that says 'Kiss the Cook', pick it up just to let him know you think of him.