June 16th is Father’s
Day, and probably this year it will be celebrated on Sunday 15th as well.
It is now 15 years since the National Council for Children (NCC) encouraged
celebration of Father’s Day by starting a number of activities that
engaged fathers and male carers, encouraging them to be present and to take an
active role in their children’s lives, and also getting the children to be a
source of comfort and encouragement to their dads.
Research has shown that engaged fathers have a positive
influence on their children. Educational success, better social development,
and higher self-esteem are some of the documented effects on children who have dads involved in their everyday life. Children with involved fathers
have fewer behavioral problems, obtain better academic results, and are
economically better off.
On the other side of the coin, statistics consistently point
out that children who grow up without their fathers are more likely to suffer
from various social problems. Crime, drug abuse, abortion and school dropout
rates are often directly linked to father absence.
“Father's Day”, said a spoke person for the NCC, “is now
also considered extremely important at our different schools as it helps
acknowledge the contribution of fathers to families and to society at large and
it provides children with the opportunity to express their love and
respect for their fathers”. This sentiment goes a long way in strengthening
father-child relationships and consequently helps in the emotional development
of a child. “It’s great when a child does something that says to the father,
“Today is your day, and I love you all year long.” Any type of gift, note, or
gesture that reflects the father’s interests and the child’s acknowledgement of
their different interests is wonderful.”
Building on this interaction requires a strong commitment,
however. A father must not only see spending time with his children on that
particular day as important, but he must also see his daily role as
critical to their well-being. Loving involvement requires more than words. A
father must be tuned to the daily operation of his family so that he can clearly
see his children’s needs.
children who have an involved father are more likely to feel emotionally
connected, confident to explore their surroundings, and have better social
connections with their peers. When fathers are more involved in experiences
with their children, such as eating meals together and going on outings, this
has a positive influence on children’s social development.
Children with connected fathers are better able to handle new
and unfamiliar situations, can manage stressful situations, and are more
curious and eager to explore the environment.
Children with connected fathers are also more likely to
higher levels of self-reported happiness
higher levels of confidence
fewer feelings of fear and guilt
less emotional distress and upset
Unfortunately, many fathers are not sufficiently immersed in
their children’s lives to employ these attributes, and as a result, both
fathers and children miss out. There can be a variety of reasons for this
distance. Some men are a product of parents who believed children were the sole
responsibility of mothers. Others are simply too concerned with their own needs
and wants to remember that others also need attention. However, those men who
realize they are responsible for their children, and who invest the time it
takes to connect with them, find their lives are greatly enriched by the
Perhaps this Father's Day can serve as a time for the men to
figure out how to become better fathers and husbands and as a society we can
also reflect on how we can give unconditional love and help
children grow into the people they were meant to be.
Let us join our children and wish all the fathers of the
world a Happy Father’s Day.