Writing a letter to your father to ask permission to attend a social occasion can seem difficult, depending on your relationship with your father.
I've been nervous about asking my parents for things a lot of times, but have learnt now that treating them as maturely as possible gets the best results.
If you follow these simple tips, it can be done successfully, leading to respect from your father and the likelihood that he will accept your proposition:
• Write the letter in the style that you and your father normally address each other. If you have an informal and casual relationship, try and use a tone that reflects this. If your father is more strict, he will appreciate a more formal tone.
• When you've decided what tone is appropriate for the letter, choose your greeting accordingly. 'Hello Dad' may be okay for some parents, but if in doubt the traditional 'Dear Father' is a safer bet.
• Start by explaining your request in clear terms, which can be understood easily. Something like 'I'm writing to ask for permission to attend a picnic with my friends this weekend.'.
• Give some more information about the event, including names of friends who will be there, a specific location and time (including expected end time if your father is worried about you staying out late). Being open about this information will start to convince your father that this is a well planned occasion, with nothing for him to worry about.
• If the reason you're asking for permission is because your father had something else planned with you this weekend, try and explain, without hurting his feelings, why you'd like to go to the picnic instead. For example, if you don't see the friends very often you could say 'I'm not asking to change our plans because I don't want to see you, but I haven't seen my friends in a while and they're not often all together. If you're able to I'd like to change the date of [event you will be missing out on] to another time.'
• In order to gain your father's trust, you could offer to give him the phone number of one of your friends in case of emergency. Or check with a friend's parent and see if they would talk to your father to make sure everything is above board.
• Assure him that any studies or other work you may miss out on will be completed before the picnic or as soon as possible afterwards. If he is particularly strict about this sort of thing you could suggest that you could show him the work the day before.
• Make sure to thank your father for considering your proposal at the end of the letter as he'll feel more positive about it if you address him politely and with respect.
• At the end of a formal letter, the traditional sign off is 'Yours sincerely', but you may feel it more appropriate to end with something like 'Lots of love, [your name]'. This will remind your father that you're asking him for his permission because you love and respect him.
If you follow these tips your father should treat your request as mature and well thought out. Hopefully he will respond positively!
If you'd like to go on more than one weekend, I suggest testing him out for one picnic first, reporting back to him about what a success it was and ask him politely if you could make it a regular weekend activity.
Good luck, and have fun at your picnic!