Three Things Fathers Want to Hear Most on Father’s Day

Jun 20, 2023 by Rick Broniec

Father’s Day is a special occasion to celebrate and honor the significant role that fathers play in our lives. It is a time to express gratitude and appreciation for their often-unwavering support, guidance, and love. While gifts and gestures hold their own significance, what’s more meaningful to most men are the authentic expressions of love and appreciation they receive from their children and families.

Specifically, in my 35 years of working with men and as a father myself, I’ve gleaned three heartfelt things fathers truly long to hear on this special day. These simple yet powerful words can deepen the bond between fathers and their children, creating lasting memories that transcend time, and making Father’s Day much more than a “card and gift extravaganza.”

1. “Thank you for always being there.”

One of the most meaningful things a father can hear on Father’s Day is a genuine expression of gratitude for his presence in their lives. Fathers often devote themselves wholeheartedly to their families, working hard to provide, protect, and support their loved ones. They often sacrifice their personal needs, many times quietly, to ensure the happiness and well-being of their children. Many men feel guilty that their work lives sometimes prevent them from being physically present with their families. It is important to men to have their devotion and hard work noticed and appreciated.
By acknowledging their consistent presence and unwavering support, we acknowledge the sacrifices they make daily. This simple “thank you” carries profound weight, conveying our deep appreciation for the love and care they have bestowed upon us. It reminds fathers that their efforts have not gone unnoticed and that their presence makes a significant impact on their children’s lives.

2. “I love you, and I am proud of you.”

Fathers, like anyone else, yearn for words of love and affirmation from their children. Telling your father that you love him and that you are proud of him can create an emotional connection that gifts alone cannot express. It is an affirmation of the unique bond you share, and a recognition of the values, lessons, and guidance that your dad has imparted to you throughout your life.
As fathers navigate the amazing and evolving challenges of parenthood, they often face doubts and insecurities about their abilities and contributions. This is especially true for those men who did not receive such affirmations from their own fathers. Receiving heartfelt words of love and pride from their children validates their efforts, boosts their confidence, and reinforces their sense of self-worth. By expressing your love and pride, you remind your father of the positive impact he has had on your life, affirming that he has succeeded as a father by raising you—a wonderful, appreciative child!

3. “Let’s spend some quality time together.”

Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, fathers often long for meaningful moments spent with their children. In an era filled with distractions and busyness, you can carve out dedicated time to bond with your father—a precious gift. Whether it is engaging in shared hobbies, having heartfelt conversations, or simply spending quality time together, this gesture demonstrates your willingness to prioritize him and create lasting memories.
Father’s Day serves as a reminder to honor the relationship with our fathers and appreciate the time we have together. By actively engaging in activities that strengthen the bond between you and your father, you reinforce the importance of his presence in your life. These shared experiences not only create treasured memories but also allow for deeper understanding and connection between both parties. That time together doesn’t have to cost money or take a lot of effort. It could be as simple as taking a walk, playing ball in the park, or having a cookout. Just spending time in each other’s presence is a powerful affirmation.

As the oldest of six children, I rarely had the opportunity to spend quality time with my dad alone. In 1991, when I was a young father and amidst my own family crisis, I asked my father for some one-on-one time near Father’s Day. Thankfully, he had recently retired and suggested that we could go fishing together—just the two of us. That trip remains one of the great highlights of my relationship with my dad. During that precious time together, we fished, cooked, talked, and shared deeply together about our challenges as men and fathers. We bonded more deeply as we shared quality time together. I was able to tell him how proud I was of him as a man and father and how much I loved and appreciated him. He expressed the same sentiments back to me. Little did I know that he would pass away just three months later. I truly cherish that time with my father and am so grateful I asked for time with him.

Father’s Day offers an opportunity to express gratitude, love, and appreciation for the remarkable fathers in our lives. While material gifts hold significance, in my experience both as a father and as a man who has worked with many fathers, the three heartwarming things fathers truly want to hear on this special day are: “Thank you for always being there,” “I love you, and I am proud of you,” and “Let’s spend some quality time together.”
By expressing our gratitude, affirming our love, and dedicating quality time, we acknowledge and honor the sacrifices, love, and support fathers provide throughout our lives. These simple yet profound gestures strengthen the bond between fathers and their children, creating cherished memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.

As Father’s Day approaches, let us seize the opportunity to communicate these heartfelt sentiments, ensuring that our fathers feel deeply appreciated, loved, and cherished on this special occasion. Don’t pass up this opportunity to give your father what he most desires.