Fathers need encouragement too…

On Mother’s Day, restaurants are typically booked out. Florists are busy fulfilling orders. Jewellery/clothing /handbag stores rake in good business.

When it comes to Father’s Day however, the gift-giving and celebrations are usually more muted.

Why is this so? Well, there are probably many factors at work. For one, dads are usually busy at work, have duties that require them to travel, and end up having less time to spend with their children, relative to mothers. Kids may end up being less emotionally attached to their fathers, and fathers may also find that they lose touch and are less able to connect with their children – especially as they grow older.

This was the case for me. I grew up in a traditional family, and was a great deal closer to my mum than my dad, who fell in the strict authoritarian category. As he was also a man of few words, I found it hard to communicate with him beyond what was necessary. Communication was limited to the functional, such as, “Where are we eating?” or “What time do you need us to be there?”

Looking back, I know that I also had a part to play. I could have made the extra effort to get to know him better. I could have shown him more encouragement.

I could be over-generalising, but I think the truth is closer to this – fathers tend to be an overlooked and under-appreciated bunch, despite the hard work they put in for the family.

We tend to focus on the bad and forget the good parts. But while there is no perfect father, we children need to know that we are far from flawless ourselves.

So for my own husband, I’ve decided to start the tradition of celebrating Father’s Day early.

This year, the kids and I made handprint paper plate flowers, with all three kids represented.

Handprint - Fathers Need Encouragement Too - June

I wrote an accompanying note describing how he has been a faithful and diligent gardener of these three flowers – watering them with love and care.

And we had a lovely brunch at one of our favourite cafes last Sunday.

At night as we tucked the kids to bed, the husband exclaimed that this was the best Father’s Day for him. As if on cue, our little boy chimed happily, “Yay, we made it!”

Yup, we’ve made it thus far as a family of five. And every bit of our journey is worth celebrating.

The same goes for all daddies out there. On the journey of fatherhood, every milestone is worth marking and remembering.

Truth is, we don’t need to wait for that special Day to show our appreciation and love to our fathers and husbands. It’s the little things that we do or say each day. A kind word, a hug or a greeting, a “sorry”, or even just being a silent supporter… All these speak of love, and when done regularly, go a long way.

The men may not show it, but they need encouragement and affirmation from us too. They need to know what they’re doing well, and also where they can improve.

Will you commit to being an encourager in your man’s (husband or father) life today?

This guest post comes courtesy of June Yong, a writer-mum of three and creator of mamawearpapashirt.com. She shares grace-filled stories, lessons learnt, and ideas on how to live a simple and playful life with our families.

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