June 16, 2012

Tips to make dad's day truly special

By DR. LEWIS FIRST, First With Kids

---- — Last month, I shared what mothers were telling me they wanted for Mother’s Day, and this month, it’s dad’s turn, so let me start off by telling moms and children what dads really want for Father’s Day: gifts that cost very little but are essentially priceless.

1. First, while dads certainly will thrill to being allowed to sleep in, have breakfast in bed or ownership of the remote control for the entire day, what they really hope for is that the rest of the family will pause to celebrate dad’s skills as a parent — that’s right— dad’s parenting skills.

2. While you might think that dad would want some time to himself on this special day to play some golf, you might also plan family activities that both dad and your children will enjoy — such as a trip to the beach, or if golf is dad’s passion, the driving range or mini-golf course where everyone can have some fun.

3. Consider giving dad the gift of being able to say “no” the first time and actually end the discussion right there and then.

4. Dads do love getting gifts, but they love it best when the gifts and cards are homemade and reflect the fun times they and their families have together. A great idea is to make him a certificate that says “World’s Greatest Dad” signed by all the children in the family and frame it — he will be more apt to want to save that more than anything purchased at a store. Another great idea is to make a list of all the special things dad does for his children — and then have everyone draw pictures of those things and frame those for dad as well.

5. Finally, perhaps over a meal of dad’s favorite foods or out at his favorite restaurant, gather the family (maybe even the inlaws) so that they can tell dad why he is so special and what makes him a great dad.

Hopefully, in doing these things, dad will realize that the best gift of all is the family that surrounds him, and at the same time the family will realize that Father’s Day is an occasion that should be celebrated not just on June 17. but every day of the year.