A Dad is someone who wants to catch you before you fall but instead picks you up, brushes you off, and lets you try again.
Last month I discussed the perception of strong women and the evolution of the role of a mother. It seems equally important, as a Marriage and Family Therapist, to discuss the evolution of fathers. It is fitting as it is Father’s Day this month to discuss the evolution of the role of fatherhood.
Men were once viewed as the figureheads of the family, the primary breadwinner, and not as active in the daily activities of the household and children. Time was limited as he was out of the home working most hours. It was assumed even, that fathers were not capable of handling many of the child related tasks- at least not as well as mothers anyway. This assumption is just as equally a negative stereotype as the woman who wants to work and be a mother. Can’t fathers do both also?
Like the evolution of the working mother, the involvement of fathers in the family’s day to day routine, became more commonplace. Societal norms were partly to blame for these views, but as voices of fathers and mothers alike changed, the tables slowly turned. Today, a father’s role has evolved with an increased involvement with the family -and this is great news! Research has shown that even from a young age children with fathers that are actively involved are more emotionally secure, confident to venture out, and when older, are better able to create social relationships and have more success educationally. There are many benefits to the development of children that both sexes can offer by being involved.
If you are lucky enough to have your dad or a father figure around, enjoy the moments celebrating the positive masculinity in your life! There are many who have lost a father at a young age or have never had that opportunity to make memories. It’s not just mothers who make our children great; fathers are equally important in raising competent, caring, and successful children. Their voices and influence matter, and we need to support those fathers who are interested in being involved by encouraging policies such as equal paternal leave in the workplace. Evidence shows the positive impact of involved fathers but a disconnect in the research and the acceptance by society of this truth still exists.
In the spirit of supporting dad here are 4 ideas for things to do with or for dad to show your appreciation:
Travel: Take a trip with dad. It could be a weekend getaway or a day trip! June is a fun time of year with so many things to do in your local community, or pick a new place to venture and explore with the family!
Cooking: Make dad his favorite brunch or dinner! I think he will appreciate it much more than going out for dinner, which you can do any time! He might even enjoy helping!
Music/Art: Anything playing nearby or an art show? Check to see if your local city is doing something festive this Father’s Day weekend and get out with the family for some good tunes and view some interesting collections.
Adventure: If your dad is more adventurous, perhaps you can take him camping for the weekend. He might also enjoy going to a sporting event or to a theme park with fun filled games for the whole family to partake in. You can’t go wrong with one of these options!
Happy Father’s Day to all of those amazing fathers out there we appreciate all you do!