May and June bring more than warm weather and the promise of summer: they’re also the months that bring us opportunities to show our mothers, fathers, grandparents, guardians, and people-who-are-like-parents how much we love them in safe, physically distanced ways. Here are a few ways to honor the people who helped make us who we are.
Even if you can’t be together in person, you can share something special. Make a handmade card with a heartfelt note inside. If you’re someone who likes to make crafts, give your Mom or Dad a gift you made.
If you’re nearby and the weather permits, plan a physically distanced outdoor visit. Go for a walk or set up some seating at a safe distance. You might even decide to do some outdoor gardening, doing some outdoor planting. Depending on the planting zone you’re in, you could also make a container garden that can be brought indoors until the weather is warmer.
Even if you can’t plan a family get-together in person, you can still do one over a videoconference platform like Zoom or Google Hangouts. Find a time that’s convenient for everyone and log on. You could even share a remote meal together with everyone fixing their own food. If your parent isn’t familiar with the platform, do a trial run before the family event or talk them through logging on over the phone to be sure they’re comfortable with the platform. You could also plan a multimedia surprise. Kindeo is a digital app that lets you gather family messages that can be combined into a video that your parent can enjoy over and over again.
Spend the day with your parent giving back. Find a virtual or safe, physically distanced volunteer opportunity that you can do together. Consider Family-to-Family, which is a mom-founded nonprofit that connects families through inspiring service and connection. Help a family in need and share food, letters, smiles and strength. The National Fatherhood Initiative® works to transform organizations and communities by equipping them to intentionally and proactively engage fathers in their children's lives. The organization provides a wealth of free resources for fathers, including tools for single dads as materials to launch your own fatherhood program.
If you’re missing a parent today, look for ways to honor them. Engage in acts of service in remembrance of them. Create a living reminder by planning a tree or volunteering at a community garden. If these holidays are too painful for you, use them to create new traditions and memories. Find an act of service that will bring you joy and make that your celebration each year.
There are many creative ways to honor mothers, fathers, and those who pinch-hit for them while spreading kindness and giving back. Find the one that works best for your family.