Growing up, I wasn't very close to my dad. Of my parents, he was the "bad cop," and I was afraid of him. Needless to say, I didn't like his parenting style. My mom told me once that, in retrospect, they should've done it differently; he shouldn't have been the "villain." It's weird for me to remember him that way because we're so close now. He tags me in Facebook posts of cute dogs and he lets me rant when I have a bad day. That's why I also do my best to adjust to the way he is. Ahead are some tips that work for us—maybe they'll work for you and your dad, too:
- Let him talk about his past.
I know the last thing you probably want to do is listen to a story that's been repeated 2378684 times in the last couple of decades you've been alive, but suck it up. If he wants to tell you about how he and his barkada used to race cars in the '80s, sit there and take it. He did live a good chunk of his life without you. There are ~so~ many things you don't know.
- Ask about his day.
Show a little interest in his life. I think we get too caught up in our own stuff that we forget that our parents aren't just there for when we need financial help.
- Talk about your best moments together.
We had a lot of road trips when I was a kid. And my dad still loves telling the story of when my brother asked if brown cows make chocolate milk. Nostalgia is real, so use it as a way to bond with your dad. Plus, it's a great way to kinda say, "I remember our good times. They mean something to me, too."
- Find ways to bond without talking.
My dad and I are HUGE fans of crime shows and action movies. Whenever I go home, we watch CSI, NCIS, and Law & Order all weekend. Figure out what your bonding activity is and do it as much as possible.
Note: FRIENDS is my all-time favorite show and he's watched it with me so many times that he's able to communicate using only FRIENDS quotes. That's love.
- Ask for his advice.
Even if you don't plan on following some of it! Dads just want to feel like their opinions still matter. And it should.
This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.