Father’s Day 2020 has come and gone, and it is my sincere hope that all fathers were celebrated on their special day.
After all, for many, many years now it seems that fatherhood has been under attack by the mainstream media, television and in the movies.
Long gone are the days when TV shows like “Father Knows Best” and “Leave it to Beaver” were on the airwaves, with characters like “Homer Simpson” more of the norm in today’s society.
There have been several scientific studies performed about the importance of a mother in a child’s life (of course a mother is important!), but way less studies about the importance of a father.
After doing a little bit of research, I came across an article by Ditta M. Oliker Ph.D., in Psychology Today titled, “The Importance of Fathers.”
In the article, she writes: “The world began to radically change with the social, economic and technical advances of the 20th century, and with those changes came a basic change in the structure and function of the family — with a consequent shift in the authority of the father. His influence was increasingly seen as minor, even negligible, and his importance was defined by how well he provided for the family.”
She went on to state that psychology became part of the problem, with research studies not placing much importance at all on the role of the father, or that a father’s contribution was “insignificant.”
Oliker went on to share a recent report in “Fathers and Their Impact on Children’s Well-Being” that states:
“Even from birth, 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.
“The way that fathers play with their children also has an important impact on a child’s emotional and social development. Fathers spend a higher percentage of their one-to-one interactions with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior.
“Children with involved, caring fathers also have better educational outcomes. The influence of a father’s involvement extends into adolescence and young adulthood. Numerous studies find that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents.”
After reading that, how can anyone dispute the importance of a father in a child’s life?
In my 51 years on the planet, I have had the opportunity to know some great fathers, including my own.
My dad, Bill McDonough, was the age I am now when he passed away suddenly in 1981. Although I only had him in my life for 12 years, I still remember many of the things he taught me.
He taught me that women are always to be treated with respect; that you judge a person on their character and not the color of their skin; that when you are a guest at someone’s house, you always step up and help with whatever needs done; when you’re invited to someone’s home for a meal, never show up empty-handed; and when you do something, you do it right and take pride in your work.
Most importantly he taught me that above all, there are three things most important in this life: 1. God. 2. Family. 3. Everything else. In good times and in bad, always seek 1 and 2.
As the father of three adult children (two of them with children of their own), I have tried to pass down what I was taught from my dad.
I had a great Father’s Day, as I spent time with my children and grandchildren (two via FaceTime), with my father-in-law, Dale Worline, and at the cemetery with my dad.
Not only am I thankful, but I’m lucky and blessed.