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Do you know how many pairs of socks that I have donated over the last couple of decades to clothing charities? I do not mean to imply that socks for charities are not a worthwhile cause, but gift socks on Father's Day have become passé. Other popular gift ideas that fall into this "same old gift" category include fishing gear, golf accessories, car stuff, and sporting gear. Mothers and children might think that dads are easy to please, but we have become more complicated in our needs and desires. We have matured and while we still appreciate the manly gifts and the big boy toys, we thrive on loving gestures of appreciation and respect. Unfortunately, these Father's Day gifts are not marketed through conventional advertising and they are not readily available in the big box stores. These gifts of love must come from your heart.

Dads deserve and appreciate your respect

Men our proud by nature and we deserve and appreciate your respect. We might not be the perfect dad, but we want to wear the "number 1 dad" tee shirts and we want to be recognized for all the good things that we do. We need your understanding and acceptance that all behavior makes sense, especially when we let you down or when we do not meet your expectations. We inherited our fathering traits from our dad and we are developing our parenting skills through "in-family training". You can help us improve our fathering skills by encouraging us to become a better dad to you. We are open to your suggestions, as long as you respect our role as the provider and protector of the family. We want to be your friends, but dads instinctively know that we have to prepare you for survival with daddy discipline and tough love. For instance, "no means no", because we care about you and because we have seen or experienced the consequences of bad decisions. If you need proof of this, just check out our old high school yearbooks.

Be a good kid and make us proud fathers

The best Father's Day Gift that you can wrap up for us is to be a good kid and make us proud fathers. Our pride soars when we see you accomplishing an important goal, achieving a high mark, landing a great job, helping someone in need, or simply doing the right thing. It shows us that you listened to our good advice or that you decided not to repeat our mistakes. Your success in life becomes our success in fatherhood and we need to celebrate those victories together. Raising children can be challenging in our busy society with too much information available in the palm of our hands and too many bad role models roaming the streets. Good kids are precious gifts to fathers, families, communities, and our global neighbors. Good kids tend to grow up to become great parents and great parents tend to raise good kids. Generations evolve through awareness and action, so this year pick a Father's Day gift that will honor your dad and benefit future generations. It is okay to throw in some cool socks, as long as your dad does not wear them out in public with the sandals that you got him last year.