8 simple gestures that will make your dad feel loved

Phew! You remembered to buy your dad a present this year, but while Father’s Day provides an excellent opportunity go all-out for your dad, everyday gestures can make him feel more loved than the most expensive watch or extravagant 6-course meal. 

Father and daughter

PHOTO: Ingimage

Phew! You remembered to buy your dad a present this year, but while Father’s Day provides an excellent opportunity go all-out for your dad, everyday gestures can make him feel more loved than the most expensive watch or extravagant 6-course meal. Best of all, they cost little to nothing and can be practiced even after today is over.

Here are eight simple ways to make your dad feel appreciated this Father’s Day.

1. Prepare a meal for him

Many of us grew up with a dad who would not only drive us to school, but who would wake up early  to prepare our packed lunches. Return the favour by preparing his favourite food, be it a home-cooked meal or takeaway from his favourite stall at a hawker centre on the other side of town. Instead of just handing him the food and saying “Happy Father’s Day,” take the time to catch up with him while both of you are eating. He might just appreciate your undivided attention over the food itself.

2. Do his least favourite chore

….especially the gross or boring ones. Clean the windows, sort out the recycling, take out the trash, and wash his car. What’s best is if you time your chores strategically so that he can enjoy his favourite TV program (or an afternoon nap!) while you toil away outside.

3. Send him a funny meme, SMS, or email

Let’s be honest: how many times have you trashed a “hilarious” email from your dad without even sending a reply?  On the one hand, yeah, Dad jokes can be unbearably lame, but he’s not sending them just so you’ll laugh – he’s sending them because he wants to connect with you. This Father’s Day, take the initiative to connect with him first by sending him the lamest meme you can find. After all, the only reason he spams you with them is so that you guys will have an excuse to talk.

4. Take him to an event or on an activity he enjoys, even if you hate it

This means waking up at 5AM just to walk in the park, or eating roti prata for supper with him even if you’re trying to lose weight. Instead of scolding him for watching his Chinese news when Game of Thrones is on, just for today, sit down and ask him what’s going on in the world today.

5. Share snippets or photos of your life with him

Chances are, your dad has no idea what you do on a daily basis, let alone what you do at work or with your friends. Engage him and show that even though you’re grown up, you still want him to be a part of your life. It can be as simple as sending him a photo of your brunch (instead of just posting them on Instagram), or if you work in a creative industry, sending him clippings of your work. Make it a point to message him randomly. If you and your colleagues go out for some amazing noodles, SMS him about it and mention that you were reminded of the noodles he used to buy for you when you were young. When you and your friends go on vacation, send him photos to let him know that you’re alive.

6. Introduce him to your friends

Introducing your dad to your significant other is pretty much a requirement before the relationship gets too serious. But how about your friends? We’re willing to bet that your dad has no idea who your friends are, beyond the ones who were your classmates in secondary school. At any rate, we’re no longer youths, which means that we should no longer be embarrassed about our parents. Show your dad that he’s so important, that you think your friends deserve to know who he is.  

7. Fix his computer

If there’s one request children hate receiving from their parents, it’s the dreaded “come home and help me fix my computer”. It’s always either unplugged, logged into the wrong account, or infected with viruses. No matter how hard you try, they can’t seem to follow your instructions over the phone, nor can they avoid clicking browser ads loaded with trojans.

So today, commit the ultimate gesture of love by telling your dad flat-out that you want to troubleshoot his PC. Offer to clean up his hard drive, remove the Trojans, or (finally) upgrade from dial-up to Wi-Fi.

8. Tell him you love him  

Telling your dad “I love you” can feel a little awkward, especially if your father is a super traditional Asian dad. But he’s got to hear it sometime, right? Too make it feel less weird, you can even compound the statement with more words of affirmation. Tell him that you understand his sacrifices much more now that you’ve started your own family. Tell him that you appreciate all the little things he taught you and your siblings – be it about finances, eating well, or making friends –  that you’ve taken with you into adulthood. Tell him that any man or woman you date would need to be AWESOME in order to deserve him as a father-in-law. Once you’ve buttered him up a little, lay on the “L” word, and he’ll feel so loved that he will forgive you for deleting his last 10 corny SMSes. 

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