Thanking the people we love, those who influenced our lives, and those we owe at least part of ourselves to is vitally important. One of the top five regrets people express at the end of their lives is that they wish they’d told their loved ones how much they meant. In other words, people wish they’d said words like, “I love you,” “thank you,” and “you mean so much to me.”
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Say ‘Thank You, Dad’ in a Letter or Card
- How to Say ‘Thank You, Dad’ If You Can’t See Each Other In Person
- How to Say ‘Thank You, Dad’ on Father’s Day
- How to Say ‘Thank You, Dad’ Through Your Actions
- How to Say ‘Thank You for Everything, Dad’ at the End of His Life
We only have so much time to tell people how much they mean to us. If we wait too long, we might miss the window of opportunity altogether. Let’s take every opportunity we’re given to tell the fathers in our lives how much they mean.
How to Say ‘Thank You, Dad’ in a Letter or Card
Whether you say ‘thank you’ in person or from a distance, saying it with a thank you card or thank you note is a time-tested tradition. Everyone enjoys receiving cards and letters from the ones they love and fathers are no exception. The way you say ‘thank you’ with gratitude in a letter or a card makes all the difference in making your dad feel loved.
1. Not all superheroes wear capes. My superhero is you. Thank you for everything, Dad.
If your dad served in the military, police, fire department, or emergency medicine, this simple message can go a long way in helping him see how much his service means to you.
2. Thank you for always supporting my hopes, goals, and dreams. Even though we didn’t always have a lot, I always knew I had your love. Thank you.
When reflecting on the way your father raised you and took care of your family, it’s always a good idea to recognize the fact that your dad gave you everything he could offer. Fathers long to know that their efforts have been seen and noticed.
3. You didn’t have to take on the role you did but I know you did it with gladness. Thank you for taking care of me and the family.
Stepfathers have a special role in families. They don’t marry a single woman, they marry an entire family. They take on the roles and responsibilities of fatherhood right from the start.
They then tread the difficult path of love, discipline, and friendship for children that may not always appreciate it. Communicating how much their dedication and love meant to you will mean the world to them.
4. Dad, we may not always see eye to eye, but I know we see heart to heart. In my heart, I love you and thank you for being someone who did his best to share wisdom, life lessons, and his life so I could be the person I am today.
For those children who never quite “jelled” with dad, this message communicates mature understanding and gratitude. While not everyone will be “daddy’s little girl” or “best buds with pop,” those who still want to relay their thanks in a letter or a card can do so.
5. Dad, thank you for sharing your wisdom, your love, and your life. I have learned so much from you and now, I’m sharing what you taught me with my own son. You may not know it, but you’re teaching my son because of how you taught me.
A father’s influence goes far beyond their son or daughter. Their impact often reaches down through generations to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
When you have taken lessons your dad taught and you teach them to your children, let your dad know. Don’t wait for Father’s Day - send him a note as soon as it happens.
How to Say ‘Thank You, Dad’ If You Can’t See Each Other In Person
Whether you want to thank your Dad for a specific occasion or “just because,” choose a creative way to say it. Here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing.
6. Send a goodie bag of his favorite things
7. Write a shout-out on social media
Social media is a perfect place to brag about the people you love. Write a post telling everyone how awesome he is. Thank him and tag him in the post to make sure he sees it. If he’s not on social media, have another relative or friend show it to him.
8. Send a digital greeting card
Use popular greeting card websites to create a digital thank you card. Customize the card with pictures of yourself and your father to make it extra special. If you need help coming up with what to say, use a pre-written card that conveys your thoughts.
9. Create a YouTube video
If you’re far away and you want to thank your dad, film yourself telling him what you would say if you were together. Hearing your voice and seeing your face will make it feel like you’re in the same room.
10. Call their favorite radio station
Many radio stations allow family shout-outs for birthdays or special occasions. Shout out how wonderful your dad is to the radio station he always listens to. Delegate a friend or relative to make sure he has the radio on during your call-in so he can hear your live on-air message.
How to Say ‘Thank You, Dad’ on Father’s Day
Father’s Day is a special time to share how special your dad is to you and your family. Take advantage of the day with some unique Father’s Day ideas, some thank you quotes, and a heartwarming message to share how much he means.
11. When I was a little kid, I looked up to you. Now that I’m all grown up, I still do.
Every father wants to know they’ve had a beneficial impact on their children. It will mean the world to them to know that you still look up to and respect them now as an adult yourself.
12. Dad, no matter how old I grow, how far away I live, or how different our lives become, one thing will always be true. I’ll always be grateful that you’re my dad.
The lives of adult children vary widely from the lives of parents. Whether the difference is in pace, location, or ideology, there is often a separation of some kind. The important thing to share with your dad on Father’s Day is that one thing will always remain - your love for him.
13. Dad, it’s taken me far too long to say what I should have long ago. Thank you for loving me and our family. Thank you for sacrificing and working hard for us. Thank you for showing me what it looks like to be responsible, dedicated, and hardworking. I may not have said it, but I saw it all. Thank you for all you have done.
If you realize that you haven’t thanked your dad for all he has done for your family, Father’s Day is a perfect time. Don’t let another year go by without thanking your dad for all he has done for you.
14. Thank you for teaching me to never give up, always press on, and be true to myself. It’s because of your advice that I am who I am today.
Use this to let your dad know how his words and encouragement have impacted you. Show him how much influence his teaching, love, and knowledge have had in your life.
15. Dad, even when I wanted to give up on life, you never let me. Thank you for never giving up on me and never letting me give up on myself.
If you’ve come through a hard season with your dad, this is the perfect way to thank him for helping you through it.
How to Say ‘Thank You, Dad’ Through Your Actions
Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. Here are just a few actionable ways you can communicate your gratitude.
16. Spend time with him
Show your dad how much he still means to you by spending time with him. A thank you card is good, but your presence alongside him will always be the best.
17. Do something for him
Your dad taught you to mow the grass, check your oil, wash a car, and build a birdhouse. Return the favor by mowing his yard, getting his oil changed, or washing his car.
18. Donate in his name
Pick a charity or organization that is especially important to your dad and donate to it in his name. Thank him for his tireless effort in your life and the lives of others.
19. Send a surprise package
20. Record a video
Collect a video with family, friends, and acquaintances thanking your dad for the ways he has influenced their lives. Have it professionally edited and give it to him.
How to Say ‘Thank You for Everything, Dad’ at the End of His Life
Don’t let your father’s final days slip by without acknowledging his place in your life. Even short and simple messages of heartfelt thanks are encouraging to your dad.
21. Dad, thank you for all the time, love, energy, sweat, and sacrifice you put into making our family what it was. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.
This short message communicates that you saw everything he did to make your life as his child what it was.
22. Thank you for never giving up on me even when I wanted to give up on myself. You have helped make me who I am.
These words offer a vibrant reminder of the outcome of your father’s life work - you.
23. You mean the world to me, dad. I’ll always cherish the memories we have and the lessons you taught me.
Just these few words can communicate that you’ll always keep your dad in your heart and will think of all he has done even after he is gone.
24. It’s hard to express how grateful I am for you. I couldn’t have hoped for a better dad than you.
If speaking of sentimental or emotional concepts is difficult for you, use a line like this to succinctly communicate your thoughts and feelings.
25. Thank you for everything, Dad. You made my life the best I could have hoped for.
Everyone makes mistakes, but now is not the time to bring them up. Simply talk about the good your dad has done for you.
Post-loss tip: If you are the executor for your father after his death, the emotional and technical aspects of handling his unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
Share Your Gratitude
No matter the occasion, don’t let the opportunity pass to share the gratitude you have for your dad. Send him a card, tell him in person, and share often how much he means to you. Your words will mean the world to him.
- Ware, Bronnie. “Five Regrets of the Dying.” Hospice Patients Alliance, Hospice Patients Alliance, 2020. hospicepatients.org/five-regrets-of-the-dying-bronnie-ware.html.