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This Father’s Day, Celebrate the Little Things Dad Does

Make sure he knows that everything he does—not just the big stuff—is appreciated.

This story has been produced in partnership with Enfamil, makers of the award-winning Enspire, the closest formula to breast milk.

It’s easy for the way a holiday is celebrated to overshadow the reason for celebrating in the first place. Turkey and football can take up so much time and energy on Thanksgiving that giving thanks becomes an afterthought. Enjoying a cookout and a day off of work on Labor Day can obscure the original labor movement-celebrating significance of the holiday. And Father’s Day can easily become a day that’s about restocking dad’s tie rack and not a true celebration of all of the things he does for the family.

Enfamil is doing its part with a special Father’s Day Sale, offering a hefty discount—buy one, get one 30 percent off on select cases of formula—in honor of dad. On top of a case of formula and other gifts that help him do his part, what are you going to do for dad?

A big part of celebrating dad is recognizing him and all the little things he does, the contributions that aren’t ever heralded but certainly deserve to be recognized on a day devoted to celebrating dads. The list below includes 15 examples of little things the dad(s) in your life probably have done or are doing now along with some ways to pay it forward and make dad feel as special as he makes the kids feel. Taken together, they are a great reason to make sure this Father’s Day is truly about celebrating all the things dads do for their families. We hope they inspire you to do something truly special for dad.

  1. Mastering patty cake and the other complex hand-slapping games every generation of kids seems to discover.
    Pay it forward: Come up with a secret special handshake just for him. 
  2. Creating an inside joke with each kid that serves as a shortcut to making them feel special.
  3. Bottle-feeding the kid himself and freeing time for his partner to relax.
    Pay it forward: Restock during Enfamil’s Father’s Day Sale and buy one, get one 30 percent off on select powder cases of Enfamil Enspire and its 5 nutrient benefits in one formula to help your little one reach big milestones sooner – supporting immune health, gut health, motor skills, attention span, and language development.
  4. Lending a shoulder out as a pillow, whether it’s on a long car ride or a rainy day spent snuggled in on the couch.
    Pay it forward: Invest in a comfy chair, new pillow, or another gift that will make dad more comfortable at home.
  5. Serving as the family jester with dad jokes that deserve the eye-rolls (and begrudging chuckles) they get from the rest of the family.
    Pay it forward: Put on a standup show for dad. Show him all that you learned from the master.
  6. Serving as a consistent member of the cheering section on the sideline of his kids’ games, no matter the weather.
    Pay it forward: Invest in a super-comfortable folding chair so dad can cheer on the kids in comfort.
  7. Mastering the various straps, clips, levers, and switches on the stroller, car seat, and baby carrier to keep the little one safe and sound.
  8. Making a mess with the kids, whether it’s for an arts and crafts project or an ambitious baking endeavor, and then making sure it gets cleaned up. Pay it forward: Set up a messy project and then let dad catch the game while everyone else cleans up.
  9. Serving as a human test subject for experiments in makeup, hairstyling, body paint, glitter, and whatever else the young maniacs he fathered want to subject him to.
    Pay it forward: Get dad a fancy face moisturizer that he’d never buy for himself.
  10. Learning how to braid hair. Or give buzz cuts. Or otherwise keep the kids looking respectable. Pay it forward: Get dad a gift certificate for a shave at a barbershop. It’s a special thing he’s sure to appreciate. 
  11. Volunteering to push the stroller on every adventure no matter how steep, uneven, stair-filled, or otherwise unfriendly the terrain may be.
    Pay it forward: Set up an adventure just for dad and include a picnic with his favorite kind of sandwich.
  12. Turning a simple book reading into an interactive dramatic experience complete with character-specific voices that make bedtime stories can’t-miss entertainment.
    Pay it forward: Make a book about dad and then act it out in a one-night-only dramatic event.
  13. Waking up to soothe a fussy baby whatever they need a change, a feeding, a burping, or just attention.
    Pay it forward: Give dad an hour or two on a weekend afternoon for an uninterrupted nap of his own.
  14. Curating their kids’ childhood. Dads deserve credit for helping to pick the parks, museums, vacations, restaurants, activities, and other experiences that ultimately shape who their kids become later in life.
    Pay it forward: Return the favor and, as a family, plan a dad-focused outing at a destination he’d love.
  15. Becoming an expert in whatever their kid is passionate about. Dads have served as little league coaches, forensics competition judges, set builders for the school play, and a million other roles that they probably didn’t anticipate filling before they had kids.

That last item is an apt metaphor for the entire fatherhood experience: a dude who took on an unfamiliar (and often terrifying) array of challenges not for their own sake but for the sake of their kids. So this Father’s Day, every member of the family should raise a bottle—formula, soft drink, or beer—and celebrate dad the way he deserves to be celebrated.

Don’t miss the Father’s Day Sale at Enfamil: buy one, get one 30 percent off on select cases of formula.