What To Write In A Father's Day Card

My dad used to send me into a panic whenever given the ceremonial after-dinner card on birthdays or Father’s Day.  What was I worried about?

He actually read the card aloud to the family.

“Holy cow — what does it say?” I’d be thinking through my sweat. I’m not gonna lie — being a young guy, I never read the card copy; just a few words on the front and skimmed to the ending. Then I’d scrawl something inside but never quite remember what I wrote, so I was mortified he’d read the entire thing out loud. But because American Greetings cards are carefully crafted to say just the right thing, I knew I didn’t have to worry about the greeting card itself, but my own personal message I wrote inside? Think I took a few years off my life holding my breath waiting for his reaction, but in the end, he always seemed pleased; and I was relieved. Now I’m actually editing those Father’s Day cards and, as a father myself, I take great pride in helping others find their own personal messages to add to their cards, too.

My dad was probably a lot different from yours: like many of his generation, he rarely expressed his feelings, preferring to let his actions speak for him. Maybe the dad in your life is a man of few words, too, or maybe he’s stern yet kind, or a steadfast, reliable advice giver, or hard worker through and through. Or maybe you don’t get to see him as often as you’d like but he’s still made a great impact on your life. Still, if you want to know what to write in a Father’s Day card to make it a bit more special and meaningful, it’s gotta start with what kind of guy he is.

Think of his personality and what your relationship is and what it means to you. Once you figure that out, safe to say there’s not a dad on the planet who wouldn’t appreciate knowing exactly how doing their dad-thing impacts their family — so think about those details next.

Finally, focus on Father’s Day messages like love, respect, and gratitude (examples below!) and you’ve got the basics mastered. Nothing left to do but sign your name with pride (and be ready for a smile or two).

Father’s Day Card Messages for Your Dad

The Strong, Silent Type
Since he’s a man of few words, he’s going to know all about saying the most with the least amount of words and reading between the lines for the deeper message. If you’re going for the plain and direct sentiment, it might read something like:

  • I’ll get right to the point — you’re a great dad, and you’re loved very much.
  • You really are the best, Dad. End of story.
  • Everything you’ve done makes me so proud to be in this family — I love you!
  • Hope all the love you’ve given to our family comes back to you a hundred times over today!

The Funny Guy
If you’re more likely to share your Father’s Day message in a kidding way, it can be fun and affectionate at the same time.

  • Happy Father’s Day, Dad. And thanks for everything. (Okay, great talk!)
  • Let’s be honest — you wouldn’t have this special day if it wasn’t for me [us]!
  • Thanks for raising me to be an upstanding member of society, with only minor exceptions.
  • Happy Father’s Day from the one who has tested your limits in just about everything — you’re welcome!

The Sensitive Old Softie
These guys can handle a little sentimentality, so you might want to turn up the love, pride, or gratitude.

  • I’ll never be too old to need you, Dad.
  • Hope you know how much I’ll always love, respect, and appreciate you.
  • Dads like you are rare — which makes me the luckiest [daughter/son] in the world.
  • So much of who I am is because of what you taught me, Dad.

Not Your Biological Father but Your One True Dad

Your dad may not be in your family bloodline, but he’s been there every step of the way. He’s had a real influence on your life and deserves to know how you feel about him.

  • fa - ther (n.) Someone who cares and helps and guides you.  (Shared DNA not required.)
  • Just thinking about how lucky I am to have you in my life.
  • So much of who I am is because you made a brave and loving choice to be here for me.
  • I feel like we were meant to be family, and I’m so glad we are!

Dads Who Make Time and Spend Time

If there’s one thing all dads everywhere want to be recognized for, it’s the hard work they put into being a good father. You really can’t go wrong with a simple “I notice” or a focus on things you’ve learned from them.

  • Thanks for teaching me how to [do the thing] Dad. It’s so much a part of who I am today.
  • Your love of [photography] taught me to [look at things from a unique perspective].
  • No one masters [the grill] the way you do! Love you and [your cookouts]!
  • For all the wonderful things you do that I might forget to acknowledge, thank you.

Hard Workers, Mentors or Any Kind of Dad

If there’s one thing all dads everywhere want to be recognized for, it’s the hard work they put into being a good father. You really can’t go wrong with a simple “I notice.”

  • For all the words of wisdom that you didn’t know I followed, thank you.
  • You were right Dad — now that I’m older, I DO understand. And I love you and thank you for everything.
  • Not a day goes by when I don’t feel very, very lucky to have a dad like you.
  • You may not know this, but every day I feel grateful for all you’ve done for me.

Father’s Day Card Messages for All Dad Relationships

You may also plan to give a Father’s Day card to your brother, son, or spouse on Father’s Day entirely different Father’s Day messages altogether, of course. Child or parent, spouse or sibling, in-law, step-son or step-dad, grandpa or father-figure — knowing what messages to write in a Father’s Day card is never a one-message-fits all situation. You want to say just the right thing in your Father’s Day card to make it special, just for him.

Father’s Day Card Messages for Father-in-aw

Your father-in-law has brought you in as part of his own family, and he’d love to know how much he means to you on Father’s Day. You can complement him on the job he did raising the partner/spouse you love so much, or your pride in being part of your new family. (You may even call your father-in-law “Dad.”) He may also be a caretaker or grandparent to your kids, so shout it out!

  • The kids love you to pieces! Happy Father’s Day from all of us!
  • Celebrating all the wonderful parenting you’ve done that has brought [name of spouse] to me.
  • You and your family mean the world to me, and I’m so proud to be part of it as your daughter/son-in-law.
  • Thanks for all the time, support, and love you give to our family, Dad – Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day Card Messages for Male Friends

Your guy friends have kids! So of course they’d love a shout-out from you about the great job they’re doing as a dad. Give them the props they deserve with a compliment to their parenting style and how you admire this amazing role they’ve added to their life. Better yet, offer to babysit!

  • You’re such a great, caring person — I always knew you’d be the best dad ever.
  • You’re doing a great job — but if you ever need a sitter, bring the kids here!
  • Cool, kind, dedicated — that’s you as a friend but also as a parent. Happy Father’s Day!
  • It’s so awesome to see my friend getting all the love he deserves from such a wonderful family!

Father’s Day Card Messages for Son-in-law

Your son-in-law is supporting your own child as his spouse and has become a part of your family, and maybe you’re close enough to think of him as one of your own. Messages that let him know how much he is appreciated or how much he does for your family are always appropriate and sincere.

  • Our family is so proud to have you in it!
  • You’ve given us the joy of such amazing grandkids — and you’re such a wonderful dad to them.
  •  Happy Father’s Day to the best son-in law I/we could ever have hoped for.
  • The way you take care of our son/daughter and your whole family is to be applauded!

Father’s Day Card Messages for Son

Your son is a father, and what could be better? He’s given you a grandchild (or more than one) to spoil of course!  But he’s also passing on your family traditions to one or many of his own. And there’s nothing more special than seeing your own children with their children, at any age.

  • When you were in diapers I couldn’t have imagined how good you’d be at changing them yourself!
  • There is nothing more wonderful than seeing your own child as a parent — you make me so proud.
  • Lucky, grateful, and proud at the kind, caring, amazing parent you are.
  • You are a hero not just to your kids, but to me/us too. Happy Father’s Day with lots of love!

Father’s Day Card Messages for Brother

When your brother is a parent, it’s pretty darn special. He’s also given you nieces or nephews to hang out with! (If you’re a sister this is particularly sweet. Ask any sister and you might get more sappy vibes than you expect.)

  • Wow, you’re doing this dad thing in the most amazing way. You’re so impressive! Love you lots, Brother!
  • Thanks for giving me the absolute cutest, sweetest little nieces/nephews to enjoy!
  • I always knew you’d be the best Dad, because you’ve been the best brother. HFD XO
  • I’m beyond proud to be an aunt/uncle to your kids. (Just look at my Instagram feed!

Father’s Day Card Messages for Brother-in-law

First, you might want to thank your brother-in-law for putting up with everyone you know you’re all a lil’ crazy.  He’s also the steady support for your beloved sibling and father to your nieces or nephews. This is the guy who shares with you a love for the same amazing member of your family. Sweet, funny, or heartfelt just thank him for being so amazing in general!

  • Thanks for taking care of my brother/sister and creating the cutest little family ever!
  • You guys do such a great job with your kids, and you can tell they love you to pieces!
  • Love to see all the love in your family.
  • Couldn’t be happier that you’re part of this crazy, wonderful family. Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day Card Messages for Husband

This guy is your everything, even before you had kids. You’ve shared so much, you’ve built a family, and he’s become your partner in keeping these amazing individuals safe, happy and loved. That’s a lot to give, as you well know! Just let it all out and tell him how there isn’t a better person on the planet anywhere!

  • You are a hero in this family — our children feel safe, loved, and are great kids because of what you give to them.
  • Happy Father’s Day — there is no dad on this planet as kind, awesome, and loving as you.
  • I’m so proud to be sharing life, love, and our wonderful family with you.
  • You’re not just a wonderful man, you’re a wonderful father and husband. I couldn’t ask for more!

Father’s Day Card Messages for Significant Other

One day is not enough to honor how special your significant other is to both you and to the children in your life. But Father’s Day is the perfect time to tell him how much he’s loved and appreciated. Anything goes, so show him you notice every little thing he does and that your kids do, too.

  • It’s the courage and dedication you give that make you such an amazing father.
  • Thank you for the love and care you give to this family — I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else but you.
  • You make me happy, you make the kids happy, and you make our life happy!
  • The kids are so lucky to have you as a hero and role model in their life.

Father’s Day Card Messages for a Spouse

The person you share your life with has dedicated as much of himself as humanly possible to your family. Tell him why he deserves every bit of praise for stepping in, stepping up, and truly stepping out as the best dad ever.

  • I love our life and everything we’ve build together — our family is everything to me.
  • Being a good father is the most difficult thing a man can do — and you are so amazing at it.
  • Our life isn’t always the easiest, but you are the hardest working, most loving dad there is.
  • Hope the love you give our kids comes back to you a hundred times over today. You deserve it!

Father’s Day Card Messages for Your Uncle

Uncles may or may not carry an official dad title, but they sure do the things a dad does. Some have their own families, some are stand-in dads, some are mentors, caregivers, or close family friends.  Last we checked, they don’t get their own day to boast a medal. So show them how important they are on Father’s Day!

  • Happy Father’s Day, Uncle! Hope today you feel loved and appreciated for all you do [for me or for your own family].
  • With all the advice and support you give, you’ve earned the title Best Uncle Ever!
  • Nothing makes me happier than knowing I have an uncle who loves me as much as you.
  • You’ve always taken such good care of me — I’m not your own child, but you treat me as if I were, and that means the world to me.

Father’s Day Card Messages for Your Grandfather

Every culture has their own nickname for Gramps, but his support for you, your spouse, and/or your children remains the same. Give Granddad the cred he deserves on Father’s Day.

  • Every memory I have with you has instilled in me a sense of family, love, tradition, and pride. We love you so much!
  • Thank you for building a wonderful family that I am so proud to belong to (and raise my own children in). Happy Father’s Day!
  • My kids love you so much — knowing how much love you give to them means the world to me.
  • You are loving, wise, and the greatest hero anyone in our family could ever have.

Father’s Day Card Messages for Nephew

If your nephew has kids, you can bet you’re extra-proud to see your sibling/cousin’s son as a dad himself! Any words of praise telling him the great job he’s doing will go a long way to make your Father’s Day card to your nephew extra-meaningful.

  • I’ve always been proud of you but even more so now that you’re a dad. Happy Father’s Day
  • Our family tree is bigger, stronger, and more loving with such a great father like you in it!
  • Your kids are just as great as their Dad is — hope you enjoy every minute of your special day!
  • On Father’s Day, hope you get some time to relax and take a break from being the great dad you always are!

Father’s Day Card Messages for Your Grandson

If your grandson is a dad, well, you’ve got quite the generational spread going and you yourself deserve points for being the founder of this multi-generation celebration! Surely you’ll have words of wisdom to pass on and of course immense pride in seeing your child’s child as a father, who has also given (or are giving) you great-grandkids to cherish.

  • So proud that you are one of the great generations of amazing fathers in our family.
  • Nothing would make me/us more proud as your grandparent/s than to watch you continue to be the wonderful father you already are. Happy Father’s Day with love.
  • So long ago, it was you in diapers, and now here you are changing them yourself — so impressed by you; so proud of you!
  • Time has brought so much love to our family — nothing makes me happier than to see you passing on our traditions to your own children.  

Father’s Day Card Messages for Pet Dads

Pet dads are furrific people. They’re pawsitively awesome in every way! It’s also been said that the emotional connection to our pets can be just as strong as it is for other humans. Celebrate the guys who give so much love to their sweet pets it would mean the world to them to hear they’re doing a great job!

  • You give [Barkley] such an amazing life and loving family — wishing you lots of love, [wags] and [licks] in return on Father’s Day!
  • If your pet could talk I bet [s]he’d tell you that she actually chose you. Happy Father’s Day
  • You’re a pawsitively amazing [dog] dad and [Barkley] is so lucky to have you!
  • [From pet]: Dad, I love you! Thank you for taking such good care of me!

Father’s Day Card Messages for a Father Figure

Sometimes a dad is one who loves, supports, and cares without having an official title. There is no limit to what they give as a father figure in a child’s life, and there’s no limit to how much you should praise them for it.

  • It takes a lot of courage and love to take such good care of our whole family — that’s exactly why I’m celebrating you today. Happy Father’s Day
  • Not everyone carries an official father title, but as far as I’m/we’re concerned, you’ve got one with us!
  • A father is someone who cares and helps and loves even if you're not his own. Wishing you the Happy Father’s Day you deserve, with lots of love.
  • You're like a father to me — and today, I just want to thank you for always showing you care and want you to know the truly wonderful impact you’ve had on me.

Father’s Day Card Messages for a Cousin

Way to go cousins who are dads! Any messages you write in your Father’s Day cards that say you think your cuz is a great father certainly won’t go unappreciated!

  • Cheers to being cousins, cheers to being parents! (I think we’re doing a great job, should we ask our parents?) Happy Father’s Day!
  • Way to keep our family growing bigger and more awesome than ever! Happy Father’s Day
  • Your kids must feel so proud to have a great Dad like you. Hope you enjoy the wonderful Father’s Day you deserve.
  • You are a cool, kind, and loving dad — thanks for being a great dad-example in our family.

Father’s Day Card Messages for a Co-worker

We spend so much time with our co-workers doing amazing things, so celebrate the people who master the art of balancing being a dad with being an amazing colleague!

  • Wishing a really great guy and co-worker a really great Father’s Day!
  • Happy Father’s Day and enjoy spending time with your adoring family.
  • You better not even think of working on Father’s Day!
  • If your kids are like you, they’re probably awesome, too!

Father’s Day Card Messages for a Boss

Your boss is your colleague, mentor, and friend. Why not celebrate this other role they have that makes them the wonderfully well-rounded person they are!

  • You are an inspiration to so many — your family must appreciate you as much as we do!
  • Wishing a great boss all the happiness you deserve on Father’s Day.
  • Thank you for being such a great boss and mentor — your kids must be so proud of you.
  • Happy Father’s Day to our fearless leader! Enjoy every minute celebrating with your family.

Father’s Day Card Messages for a Teacher

Great teachers inspire us every day, so inspire them with some words of support and thanks messages that say “thank you for sharing your time” with your children or with you are perfect, especially when they have families of their own.

  • You are looked up to, appreciated — you’re the best!  Hope your Father’s Day is as great as you are!
  • A great teacher like you is probably the greatest dad, too. Happy Father’s Day
  • Time is important, so thank you for sharing your time with our family. Happy Father’s Day
  • Thank you for helping my [son/daughter] grow to be a kind, respectful,  happy student — hope Father’s Day brings happiness your way, too!

Father’s Day Card Messages for a Coach

If your coach or your child’s coach is a parent, no wonder they’re so good at leading the way! Why not give them props and thanks for the time they spend with you and/or your family, too?

  • You always give so selflessly. Wishing a great coach a great Father’s Day.
  • Committed, dedicated, caring and wise — thank you for all you do.
  • Thank you for sharing your time with me — hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day celebrating all the things that make you so amazing!
  • Happy Father’s Day to the man who is teaching me how to be the best man I can be.

Whether you come up with something sweet, witty, or wise, only you know what makes the dad in your life so special to you — and that’s what he really wants to hear.


Steve Johnson is a lifer at American Greetings, with over 30 years of experience in the social expressions game. He lives, works, and writes in the Cleveland area.

In addition to writing and editing for American Greetings, Jill Jankowski is also a content editor, greeting card writer, blogger, leadership and life coach @ BeBetter, producer, world traveler, SUP athlete and standup paddleboard business owner @SUPCLE. She loves her dog Roxy more than anything in the world!

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