Good Deeds with Dad

Father’s Day isn’t the only great opportunity to teach your kids compassion and kindness. Provide them with creative, caring ideas for showing their dad, grandpa or father figure how much he’s loved, beyond the month of June.

  • Make a “love you” list! Ask your child to come up with 20 things she loves about Dad. Does he tell cheesy jokes? Do they love his blueberry pancakes? Is he helpful with homework? Not only is this a heartfelt exercise for your kid, but it’s bound to be the greatest gift dear old dad could receive!
  • —>Why It Matters: What’s not to love? Writing this list makes everybody happy—your child will love reflecting on why his or her male role models are so fantastic, and the lucky guys learn how much their involvement means to their kids. Plus, children who spend quality time with their dads get better grades in school. Gotta love that! (Recommended for all ages)

  • Do good together! Kids crave quality time with their dads, so why not bond over a cause you both care about? Walk dogs from an animal shelter, volunteer to do handyman work for neighbors, or bring treats or flowers to nursing home residents.
  • —>Why It Matters: This is hands-down the easiest way to raise caring kids. Young children who volunteer with their parents are almost twice as likely to volunteer as adults, compared to kids who don’t serve others alongside their parents. Plus, kids who volunteer tend to work harder at school and get better grades. It makes a difference to make a difference! (Recommended for ages 10-13)

  • Three Cheers for Chores! Encourage your child to do something super sweet for Dad this week: take out the garbage, mow the lawn or wash his car. A little hint: the more they’re praised for their wonderful work, the more your kids will want to help out!
  • —>Why It Matters: There are tons of good reasons for kids to help others, including their role models. Kids who commit random acts of kindness tend to feel good, feel competent and feel motivated to give various activities a try, even those they once thought were too hard. (Recommended for ages 6-9)

  • Count your cuddles! Challenge your child to give Dad 100 cuddles, snuggles, kisses, and hugs in one day. Keep a running tally of all the little bits of love shared throughout the day (you can write the time, place, or kind of cuddle given), and give Dad the chart at the end of the day.
  • —>Why It Matters: By calling attention to every little bit of affection shown in a day, your family is likely to be more compassionate with each other over time. It’s good for the heart and good for your kids! Even research from the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services shows that young children whose dads are involved, nurturing, and playful grow to be better prepared for school, have higher IQs and are more patient in stressful situations. So, hug it out! (Recommended for ages 3-5)

  • Hey, you guys! If your children are lucky enough to have other great male role models (perhaps neighbors, teachers, coaches, or uncles), tell those great guys how much their influence is appreciated. Show your kids creative ways to express gratitude like surprising their role model with homemade cookies or a hand-crafted card.
  • —>Why It Matters: Kids who have positive relationships with caring adults outside their immediate family are so lucky! Why? Because those connections with adult role models help kids do better in school, and they have been shown to help prevent and deter problem behaviors like anger issues or drug and alcohol use. (Recommended for all ages)

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