This Father’s Day, regardless of age or passing, you can give a unique gift that honors fathers. Best of all, the only cost is your time. Oh, and most likely making his favorite dessert.
What is the Unique Gift? On Father’s Day give the gift of really listening to your father and to those who remember your father. For those of us whose fathers are no longer with us, you can still honor his memory. Open your photo albums, watch some home movies, or plan a fun activity to celebrate your father’s life. They forever live in our memories. I encourage you to celebrate Father’s Day with one of the many loved ones in our life: a dear friend, in-laws, a husband, a brother, birth father, or adopted father. If unsure of how to best meet your father’s listening needs, the ideas below are a great place to start.
Really Listen to Your Father
Few of us really listen to our fathers or others. We tend to listen while thinking of our response, a counter argument, a. way to help, or an example from our past. While earning my master’s degree in family intervention, I gained one of the most important tools for life, active listening skills. When was the last time you asked your father about a memory from his childhood, your childhood, or his first job? Listening is a skill never mastered, just practiced. Give the unique gift of really listening on Father’s Day using active listening skills, activities, and meeting his listening needs.
This Father’s Day honor your father by actively listening:
- Ask open-ended questions
- If you have a question, rephrase what you understand with a question in your voice
- Wait for a pause to ask your question
- Let your father talk and talk while actively listening
- Body language speaks loudly
- Nod your head, smile, eye contact,
- Turn your body towards the person, lean forward
- Repeat the last few words with a question in your voice
- Encourages your father to share more of the story.
For example, you wrecked your car?
Your Father’s Listening Needs
A unique way to honor your father, on Father’s Day and every day, is to learn more about his listening needs. How does he best like to listen? Does your father listen better while keeping his hands busy? I prefer walking while talking, which may be the best way to have a wonderful conversation with your father.
Fun Father’s Day Activities
- Get your fishing license and schedule fishing trips with your father
- One day building projects
- Explore Nature, Camp
- Trail riding (Safety Tips)
Conversation Tips & Hearing Loss
Many acts improve conversation for fathers with hearing loss, even mild hearing loss.
Does your father have age-related or noise-induced hearing loss? If so, he needs your help to listen and enjoy group conversation on Father’s Day. Why? Because even a mild hearing loss makes it more difficult to listen with comprehension in quiet environments. Unfortunately, loud environments make conversation almost impossible. Additionally, even competing background speech makes conversation more difficult. While eating this Father’s Day, give the gift of meeting his hearing needs. Here are some ideas to improve conversation while enjoying a meal:
- Order take-out from a favorite restaurant.
- If eating at a restaurant,
- Avoid eating outside by a busy street filled with car noise
- Request a corner booth away from the kitchen
- Have father sit with his back to the wall
- Sit near a wall, avoid the middle of the room
- If you have a large family gathering where you need more than one table
- Sit young children further away so they can chatter away
- Have a picnic
- Trees absorb sounds
- Sounds disperse more easily outside than in a house.
- If eating in a sunroom, hang sheer curtains to absorb sounds
- Sound bounces off of glass surfaces
- If eating on a porch, place the table away from windows
- Have father sit with back to the house
- If eating at home
- Turn the TV and music off!
- Have the back of his chair near a wall versus a window
- Only have one conversation at the table
- Speak slowly, which makes your speech louder and sounds more clear
Why Do These Tips Work?
Did you know that sounds are absorbed by your skull bones? Then, sound travels along your skull bones to your hearing system. Thus, conversation becomes more difficult when there are loud sounds or speech everywhere in a room.
Hearing loss makes it more difficult to ignore background competing sounds and speech. Thus, help your father by asking the waitress for a corner seat away from the kitchen. Have your father sit in the seat with his back to the wall. If a corner seat is unavailable, look for a booth with a high back.
Encourage your father to use his cell phone or the button on top of his hearing aid. They both turn down background competing sounds and speech. Additionally, he can turn up the volume in front of him making it easier to listen. Additionally, speak slowly. Share this blog with others who will be celebrating Father’s Day with you and your father. If you have difficulty hearing, advocate for yourself. Ask the person to please speak more slowly. That automatically makes their speech sound clearer and louder.
Personality plays a significant role in how anyone, including fathers, copes with hearing loss. Despite being near their loved ones, some fathers may feel isolated when they are unable to join a group conversation. Unfortunately, this is not by choice. Often, it is simply too much work to track group conversation. On Father’s Day, observe to learn of any difficulties. If able, privately ask your father if it is difficult to hear what everyone is saying.
- Playing with the little ones.
- Avoid talking due to fear of embarrassment
- Stare at a TV screen, withdraw
- Nod and smile without responding.
- Do most of the talking, a subconscious response
- As long they are talking, they can avoid listening
My father’s personality was robust. Thus, he talked loudly and did most of the talking. I miss the deep belly-laughs that often erupted making us all laugh. I wish I had known how to encourage him to talk. You can give the gift of great conversation this Father’s Day with Active Listening Skills.
Learn more about your father than you ever thought possible.
When you learn about your father’s past, you begin to understand your father..
We are all uniquely different. For example, before Auditory Integration Training, I processed my thoughts by thinking out loud. Thank goodness my husband is a listener and very patient. Ear infections and some tough early childhood experiences weaken my ability to tolerate sounds ignored by others. Once understood by my husband, he accepted my weakness. However, I looked for answers. Joyfully, what I found has helped me and numerous others.
Pecan Pie Recipe
My husband is a wonderful father to our three young adults. At any time of the year, he enjoys eating pecan pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Once you make it from scratch, you may never buy another pecan pie.
Father’s Day is a wonderful way to teach your children the gift of time. The recipe is presented two different ways, the traditional way and with pictures and large size print.
If you are gluten free, this recipe poses no issues for you; use any flour of your choice.
You can check out my homemade gluten free deep dish pecan pie recipe by clicking here. I include step by step directions with pictures and a free printable recipe card.