Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To Know Dad is to Love Him ... by Cindy Beck

(A fun, family night concept)

Cindy Beck © 2009
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, fathers, Father's Day, family home evening, family night, Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer, family history, Latter-day Saints, LDS, Mormon,

Dads. Most of us—if we’re lucky—grow up with them, and we think we know them pretty well. However, do we really?

Since June is the month to remember fathers, it’s also a great time to have a family home evening centered on discovering Dad—or Granddad’s—secrets. You know, the little things we never think to ask him about, but that he’d love to share.

First, bring Dad his slippers and make him comfy in his favorite chair. He may go through withdrawal with the TV turned off, but you can always let him hold the remote for comfort, as long as he promises not to actually use it.

If there are talented singers in the family, they might like to join in singing, “Fathers” (Children’s Songbook, pg. 209). If the singers aren’t so talented … well, invite them to lift their voices anyway, and if Dad isn’t wearing the slippers, he can use them to cover his ears.

Next, ask the following questions. (Make sure someone has been assigned to write down the answers or even to videotape the evening.)

Dad, what’s your favorite …

Who was …
Your favorite relative outside your immediate family?
Your best friend in high school?
Your favorite teacher?
The nicest person you ever met?
Your favorite president?

How did you …
Learn to drive a car?
Get to school?
Learn to shave?
Propose to Mom?
Learn to swim?

Where did you …
Hide your treasures when you were little?
Go to high school?
Go for summer vacations?
Take girls on dates?
Live when you were thirteen?

When did you …
Compete in your first sporting event?
Realize the church was true?
Decide to get married?
First understand the power of prayer?
Cook your first meal?

If you had life to do all over again, would you …
Live some place else, and where?
Try a different career, and what?
Get more schooling?
Take an exotic vacation, and where?
Buy a sports car, and what kind?

Top the evening off with Dad’s favorite cookies. Or better yet, with root beer floats made with Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer. And don’t forget to give Dad a hug.

Someday, as memories fade, you’ll be so glad you took the opportunity—either for yourself, or for your children—to learn more about one of the most important men in your life.

(Note: This family home evening could easily be adapted for children by dividing the questions and letting the children read them to their father or grandfather. Older siblings could be assigned to help non-readers.)

Thank you to Melanie Adams, editor, for her excellent advice on this article.

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