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Tips for better bonding with Dad

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Father's Day bonding

As we get older, it can get more and more difficult to maintain close adult relationships with our parents. Job demands, kids and other responsibilities, and in many cases, distance, can make it tough to maintain a strong bond. Just in time for Father’s Day, we put together some simple ways to improve your father-daughter relationship.

Father and daughter at golf course

Find common ground

The first step in improving your relationship with Dad is to work on finding common ground. Even if it feels like you and your father have nothing in common, chances are there are at least a few things you can bond over. Think back to the things you used to do together – did you watch sports? Go hiking? Share a love for mystery novels? Maybe some of those shared enjoyments still exist. If they do, that immediately gives you something to talk about.

Make a point of going over to your parents' house and watching a baseball game with Dad, pick him up a copy of the latest book you've read or see if he wants to go on a short hike or walk through the neighborhood. The point is to find ways to make the time you spend together more meaningful.

Make an effort

Not all of us live close to our parents, or even if we do, we’re often too busy as adults to see them regularly. But boosting the father-daughter relationship despite a hectic schedule requires effort. We don’t propose daily visits, but more frequent phone calls and setting aside more time for visits or plans is important if you really want to reconnect. Make a point to schedule “dad time” into your week or month. Make plans to meet for coffee, go to dinner or even have your parents over for a meal – whatever works for you and your dad. The more time you spend with him, the closer you’re bound to become.

Focus on the positive

It’s so easy to focus on the things we find frustrating about our parents or the things they do that drove us nuts as teens and young adults, but to stay connected or reconnect with dad, you need to focus on what you do love about him – not what you don’t. Does he still make you laugh? Do you love the way he seems to always know what to say to ease tension? Is he a great cook? Find the things that make you smile when you think about your father and focus on those things. The more you do, the less likely you’ll be to get annoyed by things he says or does.

Tell us

How do you stay connected to your dad? Share in the comments below!

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