Dads have forever inspired practical gifts. They get drill bits and slogan tee-shirts. Let the kids  cover those items on Father’s Day. We can do better than that for Valentine's Day, ladies. Psychology Today reports that one of the top wishes a man has is to feel appreciated. Let’s show our parters why we chose them to father our children in the first place. Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love, after all. Here are a few ideas to get you going. 

1. Give Him an Experience

According to Psych Central an experiential gift is one that fosters a relationship. When you spend time together doing something you both find rewarding, it strengthens the bond. Take a moment to remember some of your favorite dating moments. How did the two of you spend your time falling in love? Did you love to go to concerts? Then, see who’s coming to town and go. Have fun together.

Do you both enjoy the outdoors but aren’t sure how to fit it into your schedule as new parents? Buy a baby carrier you both can use for hiking the trails. Then, pick a place close to your home and make it happen. Or get a baby trailer for your bikes and hit the bicycle path.

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2. Make Him Laugh

You fell in love him for his sense of humor, so make him laugh! Better yet, laugh together. Being a dad can be a lot of pressure. The well-being of your family is a lot to take on. No, these days he doesn’t have to do it alone. Many moms work outside the home and contribute financially to the family but, dads tend to worry about putting food on the table more than mom. Mom tends to worry about the development and emotional needs of a child. It’s stressful, so make it a point to have some fun. Nothing eases stress better than a good belly laugh together.

Famous comedian and dad Louis C.K. has some great belly-laugh prompting bits about being a dad in his live concert Hilarious. Or the book Sh!t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern is another funny look at fatherhood. We can all relate to these dadisms. Download one of these on your partner’s iPhone so he can listen and laugh all the way to work.

Sample six minutes of Louis C.K. above talking about his seven-year-old. Yes, he curses.

3. Dinner and Movie His Way

All of the stereotypes say the man has to cater to the woman for Valentines Day. All of the commercials are about white table clothes and chick-flicks. Why not go all out for the guy stereotypes instead and take the pressure off? According to Psychologist Karen Pine’s research, men are more likely than women to feel anxious about giving gifts and yet men also generally, are more dissatisfied with their gifts than women. Let's show them a little effort and make it all about them for once. Take him out for wings and an action flick of his choice or whatever he wants to do. Have some fun.

4. What’s His Shopping Fetish?

Once again, while the commercials and billboards are catering to women For Valentine’s Day and pushing the chocolate, diamonds, and expensive handbags, think about what your man would want to splurge on. I spend enough of my weekend in shops my husband loves to know where to go when it's gift time. Does your man love watches, shoes, sports memorabilia, or hunting gear? How cool would it be to hand him a little box at the wings place and see the look on his face when he opens that really awesome wrist watch he’s been eyeing? I bet he’d be surprised.


5. Go Easy on Him


Lastly, take the pressure off of your guy during this overly-commercialized holiday and just have fun. That’s the best gift for both of you.

Psych Central reported that people are more likely to put less energy into shopping for those they deem picky. Hard-to-please people are more likely to receive gift cards and items they requested specifically. Think Rachel Green from Friends and how hard she is to shop for then, relax. Let yourself be surprised. Enjoy the day and try not to make it a grand testament of your love. He loves you every day. Not just on the obligatory Valentine’s Day.

 Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of two. If you liked this posting please follow her on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her on Facebook at

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