Dads make a difference and dads are really important. Studies have consistently demonstrated that fathers – whether they live with their children or not, matter in the lives of their kids.
When dads are around, they offer economic support for their children as well as emotional and care-giving responsibilities. Well-fathered youngsters are more emotionally intelligent and socially successful as adults. When fathers are absent, their absence may negatively impact children’s academic achievement, gender-specific development, general behavioral adjustment and anger management, especially in males.
This should all come as no surprise.
Roland Warren, director of the National Fatherhood Initiative, said: “Kids have a hole in their soul the shape of their dads. They have this tremendous desire to connect-it’s in there, it’s part of who they are.”
There are more than 70 million fathers in the United States, so that’s a big opportunity to make a big impact.
Today is Fathers’ Day. It is about more than a tie or barbecue. It is about celebrating the father figures in our lives.
It is also a time for those who are dads to step back and reflect on the impact they can and will make in the success of their children.
On July 19, 1910, the governor Washington proclaimed the nation’s first “Father’s Day.” However, it was not until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official, that the day became a nationwide holiday in the United States.
Inspired by Mothes’ Day, the campaign to celebrate the nation’s fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm–perhaps because, as one florist explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.”
On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday. The next year, a Spokane, Washington woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents.
She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to drum up support for her idea, and she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910. Slowly, the holiday spread.
Today, it is a time for kids to shower their dads with cards and gifts and a time to say thanks.
Happy Fathers’ Day.