Spring gives us opportunities to recognize deserving kids and dads as part of our Father of the Year Essay Contests. We have identified winning essays written by kids in four markets around the country, and we’re in the process of choosing dads who will be honored as finalists and Fathers of the Year.
Every year, we are reminded just how much fathers mean to their children, and kids often have priceless ways of capturing that. Here are two examples from essays written by kids who both happen to be 5th graders:
Serena wrote, “Did you know that a hero doesn’t need to have super powers or fancy underwear? Well, they don’t. My dad is my hero and he definitely doesn’t have fancy underwear, or super powers for that matter! But he is brave and I won’t say he is not strong, but he is stronger in the heart. I guess that’s why I think my dad is my hero.”
And here’s what Max wrote: “You think your dad is awesome? My dad can catch a football 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 yards away. Well, maybe it’s just 35 yards. He still rocks!”
A month from now on Father’s Day, maybe your children will honor you with sentiments like that. But please don’t forget that you’re also a son, and you can do something similar for your dad (or a significant father figure) this year. How can you do that? Gifts, cards and phone calls are always appreciated. Many children have nominated their dad for our Fathering Hall of Fame — a great way to honor him for his service and sacrifice. May we suggest that you also consider a written tribute to your dad?
It can be sentimental or funny, a poem or a simple note of thanks. We’re giving you plenty of notice on this, so carve out some time soon to start thinking about why you appreciate your dad: memories together; his characteristics and virtues; how he invested in you, sacrificed for you, and made you a better person. Make a long list, then write him a note in time for Father’s Day or give it to him as soon as you finish. You can honor him like the 5th graders above and make him feel as great as you often feel on Father’s Day. ThanksToMyDad.com is one place you can go to write something (and fathers.com is the featured charity).
Do you have unresolved issues and emotions in relation to your father? Get some ideas for dealing with and resolving those.
- Do you need a reminder about how important your role is, dad? Read the winning essays from our Kansas City and Minnesota contests here.
- Have your kids start brainstorming now for ways they can help you honor their granddad(s) for Father’s Day.
- Read more ideas about how to honor your dad — and some more help brainstorming about why you appreciate him.
- What “spring traditions” do you have in your family? Planting flowers? A family walk or bike ride? Cleaning the basement or garage? Make sure to enjoy one together this weekend. (And if your tradition is more like a “chore” for your kids, find ways to keep them interested or make the time a little more fun.)
- Next Thursday is “Eat with Your Family Day” in Singapore, sponsored by our friends at the Centre for Fathering there. As the summer routine begins, commit as a family to eat dinner together 2, 3, 4 or 5 times each week.
The Fathering Hall of Fame. One Great Way to Say “Thanks.” Nominate your dad or another deserving father you know.
– The Best Gift You Can Ever Give Your Parents by Dennis Rainey