Although mothers have dominated the parenting sphere, the impact of fatherhood leads to a more holistic recognition of being equal co-parents. And a man holding his baby, that particularly seems like a given but the importance of a father figure has, until recently, been neglected.

Fathers play a role which is far more than just being ‘the second adult’ of the house – providing more than just economic support and societal protection, a father brings a positive impact in a child’s life by being the role model one can look up to. This Father’s Day which is falling on 21st June 2020, let’s honour the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children.

History Of Father’s Day

Just like Mother’s Day, the modern celebration of Father’s Day has a history which is not just limited to bestowing greeting cards. Father’s Day service was first noted in the USA at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908, by Grace Golden Clayton. It started with Mrs Clayton asking her pastor, Dr R. Thomas Webb to conduct a Sunday service in honour of all the fathers.

She wanted to do a service in honour of her dad who dies in the year 1986, along with the other 200+ fathers who lost their lives in the Monongah mining explosion, which was an unfortunate event that took place a few miles south of Fairmont on December 6 of the previous year. It was recorded as the worst mining disaster in the history of the U.S., killing over 360 men and boys, and leaving approximately 1,000 children fatherless.

Although the Fairmont service was the first known to honour fathers, it was only with Mrs Sonora Smart Dodd contribution that popularized the celebration of Father’s Day. Her father, William Smart, singlehandedly raised six children when his wife died while giving birth to her sixth child. Mrs Dodd proposed to the YMCA and the Spokane Ministerial Association that they celebrate a “Father’s Day” and chose 5th June as the fortunate day(also her father’s birth date). The idea received a fair share of recognition and support and was finally observed on June 19, 1910 (the third Sunday in June), and became an annual event thereafter.

Fathers and Emotional Development

Fathers, like mothers, form the pillars of development for their child’s emotional health. Children instinctively look up to their fathers to set some rules and viably enforce them. Not just rules, they also look forward to their fathers to give them the feeling of security, not just physically but
emotionally as well. Children grow with an innate feeling of making their fathers proud, and an involved male parent helps them realise their inner strengths and promotes their growth. A number of studies conducted over the years show that when fathers are supportive and affectionate, it positively affects a child’s social and cognitive development, and further instils an overall sense of self-confidence.

Fathers Spin Relationships with Others

Fathers do not just influence our personality and who we become on the inside, but also ascends our relationship with other people as we grow in age. The way a father conducts himself, how he treats his child, psychologically influence what he or she looks for in other people. Be it their friends or lovers or even spouses, they will choose them on the basis of how they have perceived the meaning of relationship over the years with reference to their father. It is safe to say that a positive pattern will dictate that the child carries a healthy relationship with other people.

Fathers and Their Daughters

Studies wholesomely suggest that up until children hit puberty, the father effect is majorly the same for both boys and girls. It is just when the hormones kick in, that fathers take up the sudden role of becoming the arbiters of sexual behaviour. It is at this age when having a warm and protective father make a big difference in future life choices. Young girls depend heavily on their father for both, security as well as emotional support. It is mostly the qualities of a father which prompt the understanding of a good relationship. If a father is loving, gentle and engaged in his daughter’s life, she will look for the same qualities in men when she gets oil enough to start dating. Similarly, if the father ingests a strong and valiant character, she will relate to men the same qualities.

Fathers and Their Sons

One of the most vital aspects of a dad’s contribution to the lives of their sons lies in their parenting style. Unlike girls, who particularly model their own relationships based on their father’s character, boys tend to model themselves exactly after their father’s character. They are more inclined to settling in the shoes of their father and acting on their impulses. While they do seek approval from their fathers from a fairly young age, but as human beings, they are impacted as well as intimidated by the behaviour of those around them – and what’s better than inculcating the character of a father. If a father is caring, generous and treats people with respect, the young chap will grow up in a healthy environment and take up the same characteristics. On the contrary, if the father is absent and rude, the lad will hold up a male ego while continuously searching for another father figure who can set the rules for him on how to behave and survive in this world.

Dads, they do matter.
Both fathers and mothers are children’s first teachers. They teach these young minds about life, morality, family, love, respect, relationship. So, this Father’s Day, make some special efforts to contribute to your child’s healthy development and steer them towards more productive and fulfilling adulthood.

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