Father’s Day and “Fathering” Day

On this Father’s Day, what will you to to acknowledge the man that brought you into this Earth, and who showed you the ropes about how to be the good guy you’ve grown into? Remember your first little league game where he cheered you on from the stands? How about that first bike ride? Maybe you remember the fumbled and universally awkward sex talk from Dear Old Dad (D.O.D.)

It’s so rare for sons to have that “heart” conversation with their Dads, because in our culture, “it’s just something that guys don’t do.” It’s hard for guys to connect with their fathers through an emotional connection. It’s usually through activity, or sport, or some shared hobby or activity, that dads and sons can meet, connect, and come together.

So, on this Father’s Day, I challenge you to come together and connect with your Dad. Remind him how great of a guy he is, and how much he has given to you over the years. Say it in words or actions, not in another electronic gadget that he may not really need anyways. Say it in a way that he’ll understand. You may have negative feelings towards D.O.D., but can you push them aside (or deal with them) for trying to make a connection with him on this special day.

In addition, I also see Father’s Day as a kind of “Fathering Day,” where the things that dads aren’t quite able to give their sons – whatever that may be for you – you learn to give to yourself. It’s kind of a “self-fathering”: giving to yourself what you needed, and didn’t get, from your dad.

Maybe it’s money management. Maybe it’s the art of communication. Maybe it’s learning about different relationship survival skills. Good old dad may be the greatest, but there may be some things that he didn’t pass down to you that you needed to thrive in some of your relationships, or things that you actually needed to unlearn.

“Fathering Day” is helping yourself fill in the gaps to help yourself thrive in the places where Dad might not have been able to help you. It’s honoring what you have been given from him, and making adjustments to help you thrive and succeed on top of what you’ve already got.

About Jason

As "The Man That Men Will Talk To," Jason Fierstein, MA, LPC is a private practice counselor and psychotherapist for men and couples in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. He works with struggling men to find happiness in their lives, and with their wives.
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