Father’s Day is a beautiful occasion to tell your dad how much he means to you, but it only comes once a year. If you’re planning to give him a call or make him a special dinner, it won’t lead to a deeper bond on its own. How can you take this holiday as an opportunity to start cultivating a stronger relationship with your dad?
If you already have a pretty solid friendship with your dad, Father’s Day can be a blast. It gives you a chance to come up with creative ways to make him feel special! However, it can be challenging to navigate this holiday if you’re not on the best of terms. You might be struggling to get over previous negative interactions. You might also feel awkward trying to reach out.
Whether you and Dad are best buddies or barely see each other, there’s always room to strengthen your connection. In this post, we’re going to give you a few ideas for turning your Father’s Day celebration into the beginning of a lasting relationship.
One day isn’t going to change everything. It takes a lot of time and effort to build things like trust and communication. However, Father’s Day is a great time to take that first step. Here are some excellent ways to start working toward a better relationship with your dad this year.
Pay Attention to How Your Dad Expresses Love
Everyone shows their love a little differently. Some people will tell you they love you with a warm hug or a phone call, while others will let you know with a thoughtful gift or a helping hand. These are all lovely gestures, but everybody has preferences when it comes to how someone demonstrates their love.
If you feel that your dad isn’t super affectionate, you might want to take a closer look at how he expresses his feelings. As this article suggests, learning how to pick up on your dad’s love language is a lot better for your relationship than getting upset when he doesn’t say it in words.
This Father’s Day, try to appreciate the unique way your dad shows his love. You might even try reciprocating in kind!
Spend Some Quality Time Together
Hands down, the best way to get closer to someone is to spend time with them. Father’s Day is an excellent opportunity to plan a bonding experience for you and your dad. Social distancing regulations may complicate things a bit, but even a video call can produce a heartfelt interaction if you’re doing it right.
The key here is intentionality. You could spend the whole day together and get nothing out of it if you’re not putting in any effort. Make the most of your hangout by asking your dad questions or planning a fun activity for the two of you to share.
Start a Project Together
If you want to create more meaningful bonding opportunities in the future, this article says finding a subject or activity you both like is essential. It also suggests that starting a hobby together can help you create common interests. While this advice is written for sons, it’s a helpful tip for anyone.
This year, try coming up with a long-term project you can accomplish with your dad. It’ll get the two of you cooperating and talking regularly. You’ll probably be surprised by what you learn from working together.
Ask Him to Teach You Something
Most dads don’t like to feel obsolete. As you’ve grown older, your dad has probably found it difficult to accept the idea that you don’t need him anymore. A great way to bond this Father’s Day would be to give him a chance to share some wisdom with you.
If your dad has an uncommon skill or a ridiculous amount of knowledge on a specific subject, ask him to give you a lesson. Letting him demonstrate his expertise will make him feel special, and it’ll help you learn more about him. Be sure to pick something that would be enjoyable for both of you.
Write a Sincere “Happy Father’s Day” Message
While giving Dad a card on Father’s Day is a fairly standard gesture, what you write inside can have a powerful impact. It’s not always easy to express your feelings in words. That’s why it’s so tempting to rely on jokes and stock phrases. If you put in the extra effort to compose a sincere message, it’ll let him know you’re serious about wanting to cultivate a more profound friendship.
Don’t wait until the last minute to fill out your card. You can’t give your note the attention it deserves under that much pressure. Instead, you’re going to want to leave yourself plenty of time in a quiet, distraction-free environment.
Get Him a Thoughtful Gift
A well-chosen gift isn’t going to dissolve tension between you and your dad. However, making a conscious effort to give your dad something special on Father’s Day shows that you’re trying. It’ll mean more to him than a last-minute purchase or, worse, a repeat of last year’s present. If you need some ideas, feel free to check out the gift guide in our previous blog post here.
Making something by hand is a great option. Not only is it guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind, but it will show your dad that you cared enough to put time and energy into something just for him. Take a look at the video from HGTV above for some great tutorials.
Make a List of Things to Thank Him For
It’s easy to get hung up on someone’s negative qualities, especially if you’re not always on the best of terms. If you want to move forward in your relationship with your Dad, try focusing on the things you love about him instead.
A great way to do this is to think about the kind things he’s done for you over the years. Did he read you bedtime stories or help you with homework as a kid? Maybe he rescued you last time you had a flat tire. Come up with a bunch of reasons you’re grateful to your dad, then give it to him as a handwritten list.
Focus on the Here and Now
Relationships aren’t supposed to stay the same forever. They change as you grow. Obviously, you’re not the same person you were when you were a little kid. Recognize that your dad isn’t the same person he was during your childhood, either.
As this article points out, you can’t let the past dictate the way you interact with your dad in the future. Maybe you didn’t get along with him growing up, or maybe you were his favorite child– either way, focusing on that can keep you from moving forward. Try to get to know your dad for who he is right now.
Steer the Conversation Away from Controversy
Do you tend to have the same arguments with your dad over and over again? Sometimes, it might seem like this is unavoidable. You know he’s going to bring up a subject you’re sensitive about, and you know you’re going to retaliate. That’s just the way it is, right?
You may not be able to change your dad’s opinions or communication style, but that doesn’t mean you have no control over your conversations. If you can identify topics or situations that cause you and your dad to disagree, Bustle recommends steering clear.
Be Honest About Your Needs
It’s ok to avoid certain situations to preserve peace between you and your dad. However, this isn’t a permanent fix for everything. If there are things your dad says or does that make it difficult for you to spend time with him, you may want to address these issues.
A piece of advice from Thought Catalog: it’s ok, and sometimes necessary, to be open with your dad about what you need. In reality, he may not even be aware he’s doing something that bothers you. It might feel awkward at first, but being honest will pave the way for a deeper connection.
Give Him the Opportunity to Open Up
Unpleasant though it may be to admit it, your dad probably isn’t the only one responsible for the tension between you two. If you want a stronger relationship with him, you’re going to need to see things from his perspective.
This Father’s Day, invite your dad to open up about his feelings. Try to create an environment where he’ll be comfortable sharing, whether it’s over drinks in the backyard or a video call. Even if he doesn’t want to take you up your offer to listen, he may still appreciate being asked.
Share Your Best Memories of Him
Here’s another great tip from Bustle: Father’s Day is an excellent time to bring up your favorite childhood memories. Reminiscing over shared experiences and adventures is a great way to bond with your dad.
Whether you’re planning to hang out with Dad in person or give him a call, be sure to come prepared with a handful of sweet or funny moments you remember. You might also consider dusting off some old photos.
Don’t Wait Until Next Father’s Day to Reach Out
Father’s Day is an excellent opportunity to try getting closer to your dad. If you genuinely want a deeper relationship with him, this is just the beginning of a much longer process. You should continue to reach out, talk through your feelings, and do nice things for him all year round.
If you’re looking for a heartfelt Father’s Day gift, remind him of the good times you’ve had together with a 3D crystal personalized with a special photo of you and Dad. Check out our shop here.