Father’s Day falls on June 17th this year, just in time for pool parties and barbeques. You could wait until June 15th to help your children pick up a Father’s Day gift. In that scenario, you grab them off the bus after school, drive out to the mall, and spend an hour with your children picking up random gifts you know their father will never use before you finally nudge them in the direction of the tie section at Macy’s. Of course, if you go that route, your children learn that buying presents for Father’s Day is a difficult, frustrating experience.
Your other option is to help your children plan ahead. Get them thinking about Father’s Day now, and by the time it comes along, you can help them get a gift for their father that’s truly meaningful. This approach to helping your children buy a Father’s Day gift teaches them forethought. After all, Father’s Day comes every year on the third Sunday in June. It’s something they can plan for—just as they can plan for birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Christmas. Getting them thinking about Father’s Day ahead of time ensures they can get the perfect gift for their dad.
One great step to get your son or daughter’s gears churning about a perfect Father’s Day gift is to have them brainstorm everything they love and appreciate about their father. After all, the point of Father’s Day is for children to show their appreciation for their dads. Help them realize exactly what they’re appreciating by giving them time to come up with all the reasons their dad means a lot to them. If they’re old enough, have them write out a list. If not, let them tell you while you take notes.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a time for critiquing. If they have trouble getting their juices flowing, offer a few suggestions, but this is an area where they should do most of the heavy lifting. Maybe they love the way their dad makes funny voices when he reads books at night, or maybe they appreciate the fact that he always remembers to make a smiley-face with their eggs. You’ll be surprised with what your children can come up with if you give them the space and opportunity to do so.
The next step in having your child get the right gift for their dad is to have them consciously observe their dad. Tell them to pay attention for the next week or two. What does their father do in his free time? What shows does he like? What games does he play? Who are his friends? They can even ask him questions to get to know him better.
Often, children are in their own world when it comes to their relationship with their parents. A child who knows their dad never forgets to put a little note in their lunches may not realize what their father does for a living or who his favorite sports team is. These little things that we as adults learn about each other as a natural part of our interactions with one another often slip by our children unnoticed. Teaching them to consciously observe their father’s interests will not only make buying a gift for Father’s Day easier but will also teach them to consider other people’s feelings and interests.
Using What They Learned
Now that they’ve learned a little bit more about their fathers and have considered reasons they appreciate their fathers, it’s time to help them use what they learned to get their father a gift that will really mean something to him. Go through their observations with them. Often, the things they’re grateful for can be drafted into a card to go alongside their present. With their list in hand, they’re equipped to say more this year than just “Thanks for being my dad”.
Their observations about their dad’s interests may be able to be turned into a gift. If they learned their dad is a big hockey fan, help them look for hockey-themed home décor items their dad might love. Another great option, especially if they’re still stuck, is to take one of the things they love about their dad and have it engraved on a custom keychain that he can keep with him for years to come. He’s sure to love it, and it’s a great way to teach your child the importance of sharing why they appreciate people.