By Ashleigh Slater, Crosswalk.com
When it comes to Father’s Day, do you find yourself devoting all of your attention to helping your kids celebrate dad? Maybe this means supervising the making of homemade cards, grocery shopping and preparing a bacon-centric breakfast in bed, or coming up with Pinteresting gift ideas.
There’s no question that it’s important for us moms to encourage and assist our children in honoring dad. Especially those of us with little ones who can’t exactly fry up bacon, let alone sign their own name. But did you know it can mean a lot to our husbands when we – as wives – also take the time to commend them in their role as father?
Celebrating your husband doesn’t have to be extravagant. It doesn’t even have to involve bacon (though it probably should). The truth is, a few affirming words can go far. Here are five things to tell your husband this Father’s Day.
1. I appreciate you.
Don't just encourage your kids to say they appreciate dad. Let your husband know you appreciate him too. That you notice and are thankful for how he fathers. Share with him a specific way you appreciate him. Maybe he helps your son with his homework every night or plays a great Kristoff to your Anna-obsessed daughter. My husband Ted reads to our girls every night and is pulled into the drama of their latest book as much as they are. He models for them how fun and exciting reading can be. And I appreciate that about him.
2. Your job is important.
I’m not referring to your husband’s “day job,” though that is important. Rather, I’m talking about his work as a father in the daily lives of your kids. Studies show that dads make just as much of a difference when it comes to the healthy development of kids as moms do. Remind your husband that you recognize his role as a dad is important, integral – and that you appreciate the time and energy he invests into it.
3. Keep up the good work!
The truth is, we all have areas where we wish our husbands did better or were more involved. But I bet there are also areas where they are doing a great job. This Father’s Day, focus on these areas. Praise your husband for a recent parenting effort or achievement such as comforting one of your kids after a nightmare or teaching another to ride a two-wheeler or splurging on a $3 kids iPhone app.
4. I'm glad we're not the same.
Thank your husband for the unique things he brings to parenting. Maybe he loves playing board games with the kids, while you don’t. Or perhaps he encourages your kids to enjoy the moment, which is an area you struggle in. Recognize that your differences aren’t a bad thing, but can enrich your home.
5. I support you.
Remind your husband that you support his efforts to be a good father. That you are on his team, cheering him on in his successes and comforting him in his failures. Let him know that you’re not only holding his hand, but you’ve also got his back.
This Father’s Day don’t offload all the praise to the kids. Be sure to offer your man some of your own too!
Ashleigh Slater is the author of the book, Team Us: Marriage Together (Moody Publishers, June 2014). With almost twenty years of writing experience, and as the mother of four daughters, she loves to unite the power of a good story with practical application to encourage others.
Publication date: June 11, 2014