Dear Ilana and Jess: I messed up in a semi-major way. I’ve been so bogged down with work that I forgot to wish my father a Happy Father’s Day. He’s a sensitive man and he’s got to be pretty hurt. How do I make it up to him? – Daniela
Dear Daniela: We’ve all forgotten a big occasion before. To err is human, as they say. But you care enough to make it right and that’s a great place to start.
First, don’t beat yourself up. If you forgive yourself, it’ll be much easier to address the oversight openly and non-defensively. When you apologize, be sincere, and tell your father how much he means to you. Real honesty requires vulnerability, so be open and empathetic. Explain why you forgot, without justifying having forgotten. If you downplay or sugarcoat, you’ll end up defeating the purpose.
Once you’ve talked the talk, walk the walk. Plan to do something special, but realistic to commemorate the holiday. If you overshoot, you’ll be in the same position all over again. Your schedule is likely still busy, so make plans that make sense and work with what you’ve got going on.
Consider doing something nostalgic that has meaning for both of you, whether that’s mini golfing together, visiting your favorite childhood restaurant, going to a game together, etc. You might also consider giving your father a handwritten note and/or printed photo of the two of you together; personal touches reflect time and effort. Most importantly, enjoy some quality time and give your father your undivided attention. Set aside the phones when you’re together; it shows respect and appreciation.
Finally, enjoy yourselves! Laughter may not be a cure-all, but it can certainly cure some tension.
Say This: “Dad, I’m truly sorry that I forgot about Father’s Day. I’ve been swamped with work and the date got past me. I’d love to make it up to you with something special. Are you free for dinner on Thursday at our favorite spot?”
Not That: “I’m so, so sorry, Dad! How can I make it up to you?”
Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: https://cognitionbuilders.com. To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: http://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055.
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