A Brief History of Father’s Day:
Father’s Day was officially signed into law as a permanent national holiday in the United States by President Richard Nixon in 1972, though it had been celebrated as early as 1910 when it was proposed and spearheaded by Sonora Dodd. Sonora, as one of six children raised by her single father (after her mother’s death) proposed the holiday because she felt that fathers deserved a special day of honor. Mother’s Day had already been celebrated starting in 1908 and declared a national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. In the United States, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, which falls on June 15th this year (2014).
Fatherhood in Crisis:
Many of us have heard about (and witnessed) the decline of fatherhood in our society and the devastating effects of absentee fathers on children. Here are a few recent statistics cited by Psychology Today’s Ray Williams (full article):
- Roughly 30% of all American children are born into single-parent homes. This figure is as high as 68% among certain ethnic and socio-economic communities.
- Their is a far greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics among fatherless children.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, 63% of suicides among youth are from fatherless homes;
- According to a study by D. Cornell (et al.), in Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 72% of adolescent murderers and 60% of rapists grew up without fathers.
- Per the National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools, 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes;
- Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes.
- Per a study by the Charles F. Kettering Foundation., nearly two times as many high achievers come from two-parent homes.
- Fatherless daughters are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 111% more likely to have children as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a premarital birth and 92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages.
These statistics are alarming! The effects of absentee fathers on boys and girls makes this a social problem that cannot be ignored without dire consequences. Clearly, something must be done in our society to promote and encourage fatherhood. Something must be done to increase the percentage of committed, engaged fathers.
What can be done to reverse the trend of absentee fathers?
That truly is a million dollar question, as the answer to it would clearly have so much benefit to society as a whole! Certainly, there is no single, simple answer to this question. However, there are some obvious steps that can be taken which could help. I may step on a few toes here, and you may not agree with everything I have to say, but I feel quite strongly about the following suggestions. I welcome your feedback in the “Comment” section below.
- Stop promoting music, movies and other forms of entertainment that glorify poor male “role models”. Don’t use the excuse that you simply find it entertaining, though you don’t endorse the behavior. If you’re spending your time and money on that type of entertainment, then you ARE endorsing it. The rap stars with the filthy language and lyrics that promote promiscuity and a total lack of personal responsibility do not deserve to become rich and do not merit the adulation of our youth. The movies that promote violence and slam traditional family values don’t deserve to rake in the big bucks at the box office. Hollywood, the record studios and the television networks are actually quite capitalistic in nature and will respond to where people spend their money: if you and I stop watching the filth that they’ve been pumping out and instead demand only wholesome products, they will respond in kind.
- Honor the father in your life this Father’s Day and every day. If you’re fortunate enough to have an engaged, committed father-figure in your life, you are truly blessed. Make sure that you let that special man in your life know how much he means to you. Look for opportunities to demonstrate your gratitude, to spend time with him, to share in his interests and to make him feel special and appreciated.
- If you are a father, I encourage you to be the best father you can be. As shown by the statisticslisted above, your role is extremely important in the lives and futures of your children. There may be times when you feel unappreciated or like your role as father is overlooked or undervalued, but don’t be discouraged. Be intentional about learning to be a better father and about how to engage your children. None of us are born with the innate ability and know-how to be a good father. As with everything in life, the greater your investment, the greater your return!
- To the right, I’ve highlighted some of the best books about fatherhood that I am familiar with. Reading a good book about fatherhood can help you discover areas that you can improve upon and give you insights into how to become a great father.
- Men, you also need to focus on building a strong marriage. A strong, loving marriage relationship built on mutual trust and respect goes a long way in making children feel secure and confident. This is not to say that a single parent cannot raise a well-adjusted child — we know of prominent examples where this was the case — but, it is much more difficult. If you have the benefit of working with your spouse in raising your children, and you can learn to work together in harmony toward the same goals, you are much more likely to be successful. One book I would highly recommend for any couple wishing to strengthen their relationship is The Love Dare and the associated movie Fireproof [Blu-ray].
Make it the best Father’s Day ever! Dads, renew your commitment to engage your children and strengthen your marriage and family. Kids (and wives) make your Dad (husband) feel special and appreciated. Let him know all the things that he does that you appreciate (though they often go unsaid). Think of some creative ways to spend time with your father that will be fun for him and show him that you care.
Our Trusted Affiliates Have Awesome Gifts for Father’s Day:
|Jelly Belly: ||Entertainment Earth:
|ICE Chexx (PLUS, get $25 back from Family Staples - Details HERE.): ||Hockey Monkey:
|Dazadi's: ||Anaconda Sports:
|Goalie Monkey: ||Fathers, invest in quality time with your kids by getting them outfitted with golf equipment at My Kid's Golf Clubs:
Till next time, be intentional in all that you do!
-Patrick @ FamilyStaples.com