Rev Fr C Joseph
Counsellor-St. Joseph’s College (Autonomous) Jakhama
Introduction: Father’s Day is celebrated worldwide to recognize the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children. This day celebrates fatherhood and male parenting. Although it is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide, many countries observe this day on the third Sunday in June. The importance of a father can’t be neglected or ignored at all. He is like a superhero who is always ready to take on everyday troubles for his children. The significance of a father is beyond words as he is the person who works tirelessly to fulfil the requirements of his family. To honour the contribution of all such fathers and fatherly figures and to celebrate the paternal bonding, a special day is observed every year as Father's Day.
Honouring your Father: Father’s Day is a time for people to celebrate the men in their lives. For children, it is a day to show appreciation for their fathers and father-figures. For adults, it is a day to show much they love and appreciate the hard work of the fathers and husbands in their lives. Although many of us celebrate Father’s Day, in recent studies, Psychology Today has found that “children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections…Numerous studies find that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents.” Basically, children who have involved fathers are more likely to be healthy emotionally, socially, and intellectually. Even when children face crises, having an involved father helps children regulate their behaviour and feelings better than children whose fathers are absent. In addition, children who have absent fathers are more likely to engage in at-risk behaviours. This is why there has been a push for male mentors in elementary schools. While mothers have been recognized as the primary caretakers, times are definitely changing as more women are offered more opportunities in the workplace and fathers are becoming more involved in raising children rather than primarily focusing on providing for the family. Fathers today work hard to take care of their families by providing for their needs, helping with household chores, and spending time with their children.But sometimes, our fathers are not around to celebrate. If your father has passed or is alive but absent, or you do not have a husband and children, you can still honour a grandfather or male mentor. Think about another man that has positively influenced your life (such as a teacher, coach, or pastor) to whom you can wish a happy Father’s Day. You can even celebrate a friend or a neighbour who is a dad on Father’s Day. Sometimes, we do not have positive relationships or views of fatherhood from our earthly fathers. If you suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of your father, spend the day focusing on your heavenly Father Who loves you and is the perfect Father-a Father Who will never hurt you and is always for you.
History of Father's Day: The idea of celebrating Father's Day Festival was given by Ms Sonora Dodd, a loving daughter from Spokane. Her father Henry Jackson Smart single-handedly raised Sonora and five of her siblings after the death of her mother during childbirth. When Sonora attended a Mother's Day Sermon in 1909, she thought that if there is the day to honour mother then there should also be a corresponding day to honour fathers. Sonora worked relentlessly for years to ensure that the idea of Father's Day becomes a reality. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge first recognized Father's Day. In view of the massive popularity of the festival, in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.Over the years, the concept of celebrating Father's Day spread beyond geographical boundaries. Today, millions of children across the world express gratitude for their dads as they celebrate Father's Day festival.
Significance of Father in our Lives: Many people laughed at Sonora Dodd when she gave the concept of having a Father's Day, as traditionally, only mother is regarded as the sole nurturer of a child. The role of father is often relegated to a secondary status as compared to a mother. But all of us know that father is just as important for a child as the mother is. If mothers are the heroes of child rearing, significance of father in the development and emotional wellbeing of a child is no less. Children depend on their father for their spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and social wellbeing. For daughters, father is the ideal man in the world and also the first man they adore, while for sons, father is an idol and the strongest man they aspire to emulate.Though traditionally father is seen more as a provider and guide for children, the scenario appears significantly changed in nuclear family culture of today. With most husband and wife working, fathers in present times are as involved in child rearing job as the mothers are. Today, most fathers do not shy away from changing nappy or taking the difficult task for putting the baby to sleep. This cultural change is helping in strengthening father-child relationship and consequently in emotional development of a child and building of stronger family bonds.
Significance of Father's Day Festival: Father's Day festival gives us the opportunity to express thanks to our Daddy for all their unconditional love and affection. Observance of Father's Day makes fathers feel that their contributions are acknowledged in the society and also by their children. They feel proud of themselves! Besides by celebrating Father's Day, children come closer to their father. For, most often children take love of their parents for granted. Celebration of Father's Day makes them ponder for a while on the important role their father play in their life. This helps them appreciate the selfless care and protection provided by their father and hence they come emotionally closer to their dad.Children must therefore take full opportunity of the day and express their gratitude for fathers with all their heart. The best way to do so is to do small things that daddy appreciates and by saying “I love you, Papa” with a gift of beautiful flower.
There is something in us-written on our hearts-that says, “Honour your father and mother.” That’s how it’s stated in the Bible, but you’ll find it in all the world’s religions. Ancient Chinese Analects advise, “Surely proper behaviour to parents and elder brothers is the [tree] trunk of goodness.”Your father deserves your honour and appreciation for all he means to you-if for no other reason than simply that he is your father. If you feel that he has failed you, honouring him doesn’t mean endorsing his irresponsibility, workaholism or abuse; you’re not denying what he did wrong or the pain he caused you. Instead, you’re choosing to place great value on your relationship with him, recognizing the good he has done and taking initiative to improve the relationship.Dishonour toward a father is a dangerous form of vandalism. That is true culturally, but also personally. Gordon Dalbey writes, “We had better teach our sons mercy. A man who curses his father … curses his own manhood.”If you want your children to honour you, model it by honouring your father on Father’s Day and all year.
“Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song.” –Pam Brown