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How to Appreciate the Father Figure in Your Life

Dad’s contributions are not often as well-recognized or acknowledged as Moms.  Mothers are most often depicted as the emotionally invested nurturers and caretakers, while dads role has traditionally been depicted as that of the provider, problem solver and rule enforcer.  Recent studies however, have proven that a loving, involved dad has a greater impact on the lives of his children than many might realize.

Research has shown that children who are raised by involved fathers are more likely to be self-confident, emotionally secure and better able to develop better social connections as they grow older. Other studies have also shown a correlation between an involved dad or father figure and improved academics. Dads who take an active, nurturing role with their infants and toddler children through regular play, also help them develop stronger communications skills.

Playing with dad goes beyond just fun and games; this quality time helps provide a solid foundation for a child to grow into a loving, emotionally healthy adult.  Men who are strong serve as role models – living examples that kids want to emulate.   Father figures aren’t always your dad either. Sometimes they’re step-dads, grandpas, teachers or other mentors.  Whoever the father figures are in your life; be mindful of the role they play in shaping who you are.

Honor the strong men in your life this Father’s day by letting them know how they have impacted you.  What strength and wisdom have you gleaned from them? Remind them of how important they are and what they have contributed.  Dads enjoy the validation of knowing that they’ve made a positive impact on the lives of those who depend on them.

Also remember that dads are human, and as such, they often make mistakes.  It can be easy to blame hardships in our own lives on a parents past and present actions, but the healthier approach is to glean the wisdom from their mistakes and not repeat them.

For those who had an absent father, or a father who was not as involved, learn from that and appreciate the lessons. Carry them forward and allow that to make you a stronger, more attentive father figure in the lives of your own children.

Regularly do something for your dad without his asking for it.  Share and show appreciation on Father’s day of course, but do it on other days as well.  Although many men give the appearance of being less sentimental, they still want to know that they are loved and appreciated.  Give dad a hug, and chances are underneath that tough exterior is a soft center.

All people need to feel valued.  When we express gratitude and acknowledge our loved ones, it forms stronger bonds and improves all our relationships.  Take some time to show appreciation, and if you are a dad; take some time to acknowledge the importance of your contributions to your family, your community and to humanity as a whole.