Celebrating Fathers


On Father's Day, we celebrate the guys in our lives. Not just our dads and the fathers to our children, but all the men who have made a positive impact on a child’s life.

A number of recently published studies call attention to the effects of good fathering. Men who play an active role in their children’s lives stimulate all aspects of development: emotional, academic, behavioral, and social, even when those men don’t live in the same home as their children.

But we don’t need a study to understand that the men in our lives matter, whether he’s a husband who lives at home, an ex-husband who lives across town, a stepfather, a grandfather, an uncle, or a mentor in the community.

Even from a child’s conception, a supportive father makes a difference in the lives of mothers, their children, and the world-at-large. In fact, research shows that women with supportive partners experience fewer health complications in pregnancy and have better attitudes about the inevitable physical changes to their own bodies. Studies indicate that even labor and delivery may be shorter and easier when your partner is by your side.

Men lend a sense of self-control. They model their work ethic. They make us laugh and help us develop a sense of humor. Men teach self-reliance, self-confidence, discipline, independence, and the ability to deal with frustrations, large and small. They help their daughters understand how to relate to men and the meaning of trust and intimacy in all relationships. They help their sons understand what it means to be a husband and a father and a man.

This Father’s Day, let us remember the father’s role. Let us actively engage him in this day-to-day process of parenting. Let us stand back so he can take charge and do things his way once in a while. Let us see his parenting style as a complement - and not an opposition - to our own.

Let us celebrate our fathers and honor them for making a difference in our world.