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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Honoring Their Dad

If you are a single mother, then there is likely a father who is a “Ex” of some sort. Father’s Day can be kind of tricky – but remember this: Give your children the gift of loving BOTH parents. It’s time to get over whatever resentment you harbor toward the man who is Daddy to your children. This is not about you. It’s about empowering your children and never making them feel like they have to choose.

I know – it’s hard to think of spending energy, time and money complimenting someone you may no longer admire. Don’t think of it as doing something for him, you are doing something for them, your children. You are training them to honor their parent, to keep traditions, to love well. You can be sure they spend time with their Dad feeling like they get to bring something to the relationship.

So, whether you feel like or not, get over those feelings and get over yourself. If your child is old enough, talk to him or her about what she wants to give. Otherwise, take the lead. Here are some practical suggestions:
Ideas for Father's Day Gifts:

• Make sure the gift is something from your child, and cannot be misconstrued as coming from you as an attempt to gain attention, interest or favor. Yes, he will know you facilitated this, but don’t give the guy anything a romantic interest would (like cologne or undergarments). For example, my daughter once wanted to give her Daddy pajamas, so we found childish-printed, footed jammies which we wrapped for her to deliver.

• When money is tight (and it usually is), handmade works! Buy a blank canvas and have children decorate with their favorite colors. Older children can make something crafty and younger children can be creative.

• Photobooks are treasured by most and if you have access to photos of your children with Daddy, these can be framed or implemented into a storyline. I like Snapfish.com.

• Activity passes – make a coupon book or even purchase a gift card for something you know your children enjoy doing with Daddy. Mine love to go through the car wash with Daddy, so once we got him a $20 card to the car wash. Other ideas may be a zoo or local museum, or just handmade coupons for an extra evening together at the park.

• Be sure to make or purchase a card that your children can deliver and if possible make sure they get to be with their Dad for some of this day.

If for whatever reason your child and father do not have a relationship, do not ignore this day. Help your child process that loss by talking about it. Yes, it will be hard, but much better than avoiding or ignoring this very real gap. Remind your child of the Heavenly Father while allowing him or her to miss their earthly relationship. Are there other “Father Figures” they could honor this day?

How will you help your child honor their Dad this year? Now, if you get to have some extra time to yourself for Father’s Day while your kiddos are with their Dad…what are you going to do?