Tips on How To Say “You’re a Great Dad”

Image courtesy of Hallmark.com

We all have a father or father figure to celebrate in our life. For me, there’s my dad who taught me how to make jams, my husband who loves playing soccer or Frisbee with my girls, my brother who’s the funniest dad of three kids I’ve ever seen, my friend Olivier who taught his daughter how to build a radio from scratch, my friend Martin who loves to roughhouse with my girls and will teach them to climb Yosemite big walls one day, my other brother who’s not a dad but loves showing his antique clocks to my girls, and a lot of great dads who are not just fun to be around but inspirational. The problem is, how do you say “you’re a great dad” without 1) sounding cliche or cheesy and without 2) giving an impression that well, somebody’s already said that before? Aha, touche.

Recently I took part in an event on Moments and Milestones organized by Hallmark and they had mommy bloggers sit around tables and create texts with writing prompts. I was surprised at how easily ideas came to mind when you thought of a person based on various contexts. Sharing what I learned at that event, here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing and make your Father’s Day card a memorable one.

Writing Prompts

Personal notes are great and there’s no better way to talk to a person than to describe how they were when you met or how you’ve known them through your relationship. I did this exercise with my husband (as a dad) in mind and tried to be as specific as possible. This is what my note card read:

I knew you when

  • you dressed up as Han Solo in the redwoods
  • you hiked 18 miles on Mount Rainier in the rain
  • you wore crocodile boots
  • you spent a day building the Pirates of the Caribbean’s Queen Anne’s Revenge with Legos
  • you were told he looked like a musketeer
  • you taught our oldest how to skip rocks at Montana de Oro
  • you navigated the city like a Nascar driver to the ER with our 7-year old after she broke both arms on the monkey bars at school
  • you bought a case of Nutella for our little one when really, you had a vested interest in the investment (check that spoon behind your back)

That was a fun exercise that brought back fond memories and as you can see, focused on positive thoughts. Now you can do similar exercises with

  • I love it when ….
  • The kids think you’re great because ….
  • If you were a superhero, your powers would be …
  • This the kids inherited from you ….
  • You are the kind of dad who …

You can also use visuals to stimulate your creativity.

Photo Caption

Do you know the weekly caption game in The New Yorker? It’s just a black and white comic that readers get to suggest captions for. It’s often captions that don’t take the image literally that are the best and the funniest. In fact, captioning a photo with offbeat humor is a great way to infuse fun in a Father’s Day celebration. As the Hallmark creatives remarked, “dads can take a joke and good-natured teasing.” Find out if it’s true!

During our event, we got together in groups, got a random photograph and each jotted down captions on note cards. Our photo was a young boy dressed as a cowboy and looking boldly at the photographer. One of the funniest captions was “There’s a reason I never asked you to take me shopping” but the winning caption was more sentimental. Wish I could remember what it was but I can’t. Some of the great tips the Hallmark team shared were:

  • talk about the fun conspiratorial things that dads do
  • jot down rock’n roll words
  • don’t be limited by the literal context of a photo
  • write emotional and funny stuff

Need more inspiration?

Based on the words of each of the bloggers in attendance, Hallmark produced this San Francisco Moments and Milestones Video with words on the dads in our lives.

Hallmark also offers other fun ideas to celebrate dads and granddads and I know that I’m going to use a few – not just I received a bag of Hallmark gifts at the event. I think it’s cool to record voices and freeze then in time:

I hope these help. For me, they certainly did.

 

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Laure Latham

Laure is an author, environmental advocate, blogger, open water swimmer and now mother. She's passionate about inspiring families to enjoy the outdoors with their children, learning to unplug and living a healthy lifestyle, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Frog Mom.

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