An expert tells us how you can strengthen your relationship with your dad

There isn’t much time left until Father’s Day is upon us. On June 21, people all over the country will be celebrating the father figures in their lives. It’s the opportune time to think about how you can strengthen your relationship with your dad, because whether you and your dad are buddies or you rarely speak to each other, we could all use a little more quality time with the guy who helped raise us.

“Taking time out to bond and invest in your father’s interests will only help improve your relationship,” says Stacy Kaiser, Live HappyEditor at Large and licensed psychotherapist. Kaiser took the time to chat with HelloGiggles about how you can connect and thus sharpen your relationship with your dad, because he deserves some love and affection this Father’s Day.

Here are six ways you can improve your relationship with your dad.

1Create a way for you to enjoy his favorite hobbies together

You and your dad may not have all the same interests, but if you want to keep a healthy rapport with him, you should take the time to do the things he enjoys. Kaiser suggests learning a little bit about his favorite hobbies and getting involved in them together.

“For example, if he loves to barbecue, offer to go to the grocery store and bring all of the ingredients and ask him to teach you how to barbecue like him,” Kaiser recommends. “If he loves a favorite sports team, be willing to go with him to a game or two.” This kind of quality time with each other will do wonders for your relationship with your dad.

2Ask him questions about his past

Your dad lived a pretty good chunk of his life without you, so there are probably lots of things about his past that you don’t know about. Kaiser says you should ask him about his childhood, his first job, what he loved most about his family, etc. These topics will help you get to know him better, and there’s no way you won’t feel closer to him at the end of the day.

3Thank him for all he’s done for you

“Compliment him on his skills as a father,” says Kaiser. “Let him know what you have learned from him and how it has impacted your life.” This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how this slips our minds so easily. We’re so busy talking about other things with our parents that we forget to acknowledge how much work they’ve done for us over the years.

In addition to generally thanking him for everything he’s done, recall some of your favorite childhood memories with your dad. Be specific about the times he helped you out. You’ll warm his heart.

4Keep in touch regularly throughout the year

While Father’s Day is a great time to strengthen your relationship with your dad, the work doesn’t end there. You don’t only put effort into your relationship with your partner on your anniversary, do you? Which is why you have to make the effort to keep in touch with your father on the regular.

“It is very important to stay connected throughout the year,” Kaiser tells HG. “Attempt to talk on the phone on a regular basis, see each other as often as possible, and invest time and energy into the relationship.”

5Ask for advice

Dads want to be there for you every chance they get. But they’ll rarely butt in and ask if you need any advice, so you have to seek out the guidance yourself. When you spend quality time with your dad this Father’s Day, open up to him about the things you’re struggling with. It might be about work or your dating life, but whatever it is, your dad will probably be able to help you along the way.

6Really listen when he talks about the things that interest him

Even though our parents are the ones who raised us, we often forget that they need the same kind of connection in relationships as we do. Ask your dad what he’s been doing lately, and when he talks about the things that matter in his life, really listen and give him the same attention as you would to your best friend or your SO. After all, dads are humans, too.

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