say to your father

10 Things You May Need to Say to Your Father

Many cultures throughout history make it a priority to honor and respect parents. It’s how great and just civilizations flourish. But do we do it? It is very important that we take a serious look at our own situations and where those relationships may stand. Is healing needed? Are acknowledgments of gratitude missing? Let’s start with our own fathers. The relationship you have with your dad factors into almost every aspect of your life in ways seen and unseen.

Give thought to your relationship with your father and ask yourself if there are things you may need to say to him. Here are 10 places to start.

1. “I love you.”

When said with sincerity, these three words are the most powerful in existence. Telling your dad you love him comes easy for some, but for others, it is nearly impossible. There is no need to go overboard, but saying it and meaning it are important. So if you love him, tell him.

2. “Thank you.”

Parenting is tough business. A simple “thanks” goes a long way. Consider how you would feel years from now by hearing your own child giving you heartfelt gratitude. It would mean the world to you. Do the same for your dad.

3. “May I ask why?”

There is an infinite amount of ways the relationship between a man and his father could become strained. Try to pinpoint the root issue that makes you feel the most hurt, and then ask your dad why it happened. Do not stray into each and every episode over the years, but pinpoint that one direct, root cause. He may not wish to discuss it, but be persistent. If there is no solution or result, at least you know you tried. Chances are, however, if the discussion is opened, a great deal of healing will start to flow from it.

4. “I’m sorry.”

Part of growing up is making mistakes and we all make plenty of them. “Dad, I’m sorry I put you through that. If I could go back in time and change it, I would.”

5. “I forgive you.”

Every bit as important as repentance is forgiveness. Our parents made plenty of mistakes in their journey of raising us as well. Sometimes those mistakes caused real harm. Forgiving him doesn’t mean that what he did was OK. But it is a central part of healing and moving on. Let your dad know he is forgiven.

6. “You make me proud.”

We all want our parents to be proud of us. Does it not stand to reason they feel the same way? A dad makes a great deal of personal sacrifices for the sake of his children. He works hard to provide the right example and do the right things. Tell him you are proud he is your father.

7. “I respect you.”

Especially in the teenage years, many children do not want to be seen with their parents. They see their dad in all sorts of ways, but none of them as “cool.” Only when grown do children come to respect their parents and the so-called embarrassing things they did. Let your dad know you respect him and his strength to stay the course.

8. “I understand how you felt.”

“One day, you will have children of your own and you will understand.” Every parent has said this. Now that you are a dad yourself, give him the credit for being right and let him know that you, indeed, now know exactly how he felt.

9. “Who are we?”

Learning our family heritage isn’t usually a priority as children. However, it is very important to know who we are and where we came from. Your dad may love nothing more than to tell you all about your family history. Ask him.

10. “What do you know?”

Your dad is a treasure box full of valuable knowledge and experience. He is a great resource to guide you on your own path of parenthood, either because he did it right himself or did it wrong and has learned. And he also can give you life advice. He is a deep well. Draw from him.

Sound off: What do you think you need to say to your father?

Huddle up with your father and say, “I love you and I am proud of you because ____.”