Ways to Honor Father Figures this Father’s Day

06/09/2017 11:10 am ET
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My Dad taught me how to do everything, from changing the oil in my VW Bug to making a written list of the pros and cons of important decisions. This Father’s Day my husband John and I will be traveling with my parents and spending a very special Father’s Day together.  

Consider Father’s Day, June 18, 2017 as an opportunity to show appreciation for the male mentors in your life. A father figure is more than biological, and may be a stepfather, uncle, Godfather, brother who was a role model, leader, and/or inspirational man who helped shape your world. For some, Father’s Day may be difficult as Dads have died or may have been absent.

A national survey of the average U.S. American’s major life regrets revealed one of our biggest regrets is not spending more time with parents. Take the time before Father’s Day to consider how to express how much your dad, or father figure has been a role model to you. Communicate your gratitude by spending the gift of time with him.  For a special day or weekend of lifelong memories, try one of these creative activities:

For the active dad:

  • Surprise dad with a round of golf at his favorite course, or take him to a new spot like Mini Golf or TopGolf.
  • Live near a body of water? Head to the bay, ocean, lake or stream with dad and spend hours catching bass and trout.
  • If he is really adventurous offer to take him on a hike or pack up the gear and head out to the wilderness for a weekend camping trip.

For the creative dad:

  • Go to that new movie he’s wanted to see for weeks now. Want something upscale? Buy tickets to a luxury theater like iPic that offers more than popcorn and nachos.
  • Explore a new site together. Whether it’s a museum, restaurant, or park.
  • Attend a BBQ class together. You can learn how to grill, roast or bbq then enjoy a well-earned meal together.
  • Set up two blank canvases in the garage or yard and get to work! Splatter paints on the canvas with different colors for a fun night, while creating the next Picasso!

For the fun-loving dad:

  • Grab tickets and take dad to the ballpark. Sporting events are bonding experiences.
  • Go to a race track with the thrill seeker. There’s plenty to do and a ton of fun to be had!
  • Live music is around every corner! Check your community calendar for concerts.

For the helping-hand father:

  • If your father is passionate about a local or national nonprofit, volunteer to join him and experience why he enjoys it so much. Not only will you bond, but you will feel good.
  • On a nice day, plant new vegetables together in his garden. This is beneficial for both your relationship and your health.
  • Tackle a big project together (shed, fort, new deck). Anything unfinished on his “to-do list.” This long term project will keep you connected and working together for months.\

For the foodie dad

  • Hosting breakfast/dinner/get-togethers:
  • Whether you make a reservation at a favorite dine-in, or prepare his favorite meal, make it a memorable experience that honors the family’s father figures.
  • If it’s a multi-generational meal, prepare one favorite food for each father figure; ask in advance what they would like to enjoy on their special day.
  • Let dad kick back while you make preparations. Set him up with his favorite movie or magazine to enjoy while you take care of the meal.
  • Seat the fathers and father figures at the head of the table or if they are a little hard of hearing, in the middle of the table which are both places of honor in different parts of the world. Before the meal begins, thank everyone for attending and recognize the dads and fatherly figures for their invaluable family contributions.

Begin thinking about that father figure now, whether it is Dad, or a stepfather, and plan the best Father’s Day ever!

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

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