“Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” – Anne Geddes
This article is not your typical men’s health and wellness topic, nor “eat this particular food for better prostate health,” nor “take this specific supplement to increase your testosterone.” Instead, it’s about giving some healthy love and appreciation back to the men in our lives who have chosen to be real dads or meaningful father figures, whether biological or not. Thank you, Dads!
This Father’s Day 2014 (Sunday, June 15) is a great time to recognize those amazing dads and father figures in our lives. A dad who is actively involved in his children’s lives, who supports them emotionally, socially, financially, physically and beyond, can have a tremendous impact not only upon those children, but also indirectly on the world. Numerous studies are currently available that can attest to the positive impacts of good fathering. A father’s involvement can:
- increase a child’s likelihood of being successful academically.
- reduce a child’s possibility of abusing drugs and alcohol.
- increase the probability of the child becoming a law abiding citizen.
- promote emotional wellbeing and better behavioral choices in adolescence.
So, how can we give back to these faithful fathers and father figures? Perhaps we can look beyond just buying Dad another mundane gift this Father’s Day and instead, seek to pour something meaningful back into dear old Dad’s life. Consider figuring out your dad’s love language! Gary Chapman authored an engaging book entitled the The Five Love Languages, in which he identifies five primary ways that people speak and understand emotional love. If you can observe your dad and reflect on how he tends to express his love towards those around him, this is the prime indicator of what his primary love language is. Does he love to fix things around the house? Is he an encourager? He may not be much of a talker, but does he enjoy when the two of you are involved in an activity? Does he often greet you coming and going with a hug, or commonly give pats on the back? Does receiving gifts easily excite him? These examples are all ways that dads express their primary love language. See which Love Language(s) most fit your Dad:
- Words of Affirmation – This dad expresses himself through verbal communication and/or writing. He often offers words of encouragement and praise.
- Quality Time – This dad loves for you to spend time with him. It does not matter if you are talking to each other, but the fact that you all are together (i.e. watching a movie, going to a game, etc.) is rewarding for him.
- Receiving Gifts – Self-explanatory. Seriously people, give this man a gift! In addition, this dad will always have a gift, trinket, or treat to give to his children.
- Acts of Service – This dad loves to perform tasks for others such as making sure the car is maintained, mowing the grass, taking out the trash, etc.
- Physical Touch – This dad displays his love through healthy physical contact. He can often be observed freely and easily doling out hugs and high fives.
Hopefully by understanding his primary love language, this Father’s Day not only can you present him with an appropriate gift that will speak to his heart, but also further deepen your relationship with your dad.
For more information about how to determine your love language(s) visit 5 Love Languages Profile.
by Blake Gordon, ND*. Blake is available for consultation at the Peoples Westlake location.
*Naturopathic doctors are not currently licensed in the state of Texas.
- Jones Jo and Mosher WD. “Fathers’ Involvement With Their Children: United States, 2006 – 2010.” National Health Statistics Reports. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 20 Dec 2013. Web. 30 May 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr071.pdf
- Flouri, Firini and Buchanan Ann. “Involved Fathers Key for Children,” Economic & Social Research Council, March 2002.
- Chapman, Gary. The Five Love Languages. Northfield Publishing. 1995.