Opinion

Thank you, dad

On Sunday, dads around North America received ties, tools, and other “toys” from their children.

Those gifts were a great way to let Pops know that you love him and you’re glad he’s part of your life. But as you and he get older, there’s an even better way to honour your dad on Father’s Day: Tell him thank you and mean it.

One thing all parents have in common is they want the best for their children.

I acknowledge men aren’t supposed to be very “touchy-feely.” But I promise you, when it comes to your kids, all of those rules go out the window. I cherish every “I love you,” “thanks,” and genuine smile I’ve ever gotten from my son.

Here, I share 10 thank-yous that might make your own dad’s Father’s Day perfect:

• Thank you for almost always making time to come to my games, concerts, and awards ceremonies. I know you were under pressure a lot of the time, so your priorities taught me family and relationships are always more important than work and outside achievements.

• Thank you for supporting me when I decided I’d rather be in the school band than play basketball — especially since you were the star point guard during your own high school days!

• Thank you for making me help with yard work and home improvement projects on the weekends. You taught me the value of hard work. Because of you, I take pride in a job well done, no matter how large or small!

• Thank you for teaching me to ride a bike, and especially for encouraging me to get back up and try again when I fell. I learned that persistence and practice pay off.

• Thank you for coaching my sports teams. You showed me what good sportsmanship looks like. In all aspects of my adult life, I know how to lose (and win!) with grace because of you, Dad. And even though I’ve aged out of Little League, I also exercise on a regular basis and try to stay physically fit.

• Thank you for disciplining me and telling me why you were disappointed. I certainly didn’t enjoy being punished, but now I have a strong set of core values and a firm sense of right and wrong.

• Thank you for showing me that there’s a difference between being aggressively confrontational and being politely firm. Because of you I stick to my convictions and don’t let others take advantage of me while remaining respectful.

• Thank you for making executive decisions on everything from where to eat dinner to when to leave the neighbors’ holiday party to which movie to watch on family night. You taught me the value of knowing your mind and acting decisively.

• Thank you for always treating Mom with respect, patience, love, and sometimes a little mischievousness. You taught me how to treat someone you love and what a strong marriage looks like.

• Thank you for teaching me the “essentials” like how to tie a tie, iron a crease into slacks, shine my shoes, and shave. While I might not put all of those skills to use every day, I always take pride in my appearance.

Todd Patkin is the author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety..

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