Knowledges

What is father and father’s day? What should be celebrated?

What is father and father’s day? What should be celebrated | June 20th brings one more occasion to celebrate – Father’s Day. But what is expected of a father, what should be celebrated? Surely no mother today is ever heard to threaten a child with the words, ‘Wait till I tell your father’. And is there a family in the land who still says ‘Father knows best’?

One of the differences I, as a grandmother. See in any supermarket is the number of young dads involved in the family shopping. Quite often with a baby strapped to his back the father seems to be very aware of the important choices of cereal. Or juices which are crucial to the smooth running of any breakfast table. Fathers are to be seen with toddlers feeding the ducks. The ‘new man’ isn’t afraid to be seen changing a nappy.

Father and children
Father and children

What is father and father’s day?

The women’s movement has had a very positive consequence for many fathers. It has meant a considerable shift in family dynamics. If mum is at work, at a gym class, or having a girls night out. The outcome is very likely to be that it is dad who is at home reading the bedtime story. Men have been ‘allowed’ into the secret world of mother and child.

Winni the paediatrician, child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst introduced into our ideas of parenting the term ‘good enough mothering’. What he also did, was to give a series of radio talks (in the 1940\’s). And one of the questions he asked was ‘What About Father?’

He spoke about the importance of the father not only for the child. But also emphasised the value to be placed on the father supporting the mother. And keeping her happy. Most important of all, according to Winni. What a father does for his child is to be alive. And to stay alive during the children’s early years. This was, of course before the large cloud of divorce spread over so many families with young children. And left them without a father or with a part-time one.

What is father
What is father

Fathers’ Day Without Father!

We also hear from recent research at Edinburgh University that Britain is a nation of absent fathers. Because of the increasingly common 10-hours-a-day jobs. Which leave almost no time at all for family life. The reason given for this is fear over job security.

There will be many fathers and children who are apart on June 20th and so will not be able to share in the joy of celebrating Father’s Day together. Those families lucky enough to be together. And who are able to make this a special day, are fortunate indeed. Who knows what the future will bring? Make a day of it – let even the youngest child make a card. It’s not for long as we are growing up that we go on admitting that ‘our heart belongs to daddy.’

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