Dads — Don't feel like a chump this Valentine’s Day

I know for a lot of dads, myself included, Valentine’s Day can feel like a scary holiday. Expectations can be high, and sometimes it feels like a no-win situation.

Should you buy your wife roses, the price of which seems to have just quadrupled? Go out for a quiet, romantic dinner, along with hundreds of other couples?

Instead of wrestling with competing options, consider doing something different and creative this Valentine’s Day.


No matter what, you need to do something special for your wife this Valentine’s Day. It’s important that your children see you regularly expressing love and affection for their mother.

Try to commit to spending regular time with your wife, whether a weekly date, or occasional lunch. Check out for resources with hundreds of great ideas.

 Think about making something with your kids, for their mother. This could be as simple as a card, a gift certificate for alone time, or a special meal. Want to get a little fancier? 2000 Degrees, for example, offers studio time ($4/hour for kids) and ceramic pieces (ranging from $3 - $16) that you can paint, and pick up later after staff glazes and fires them.

For those with daughters, consider attending a Father-Daughter dance. The Bellefonte YMCA, State College YMCA, and Good Shepherd Catholic Church are all putting on shindigs this year, and many daughters describe these dances as powerful, positive memories with their fathers.

Time is often the best gift for your kids – from regular wrestling bouts, to ice skating, to sharing hot chocolate.

The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents.

For more information, or to join local conversations, contact

Mick Trombley at

David Eggebeen at

Robert Orndorff at

Marc McCann at 237-1719 or