This June, Essence Magazine’s “10 things we’re talking about” focused on Father’s Day. At number 8, we were honored to see the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) and our tips and resources mentioned. This article along with many others that will be published this June highlight the fact that it’s time to celebrate fathers who play a critical role in the lives of their children and families.
For some, deciding how to celebrate Dad on this day will come naturally and for others it will be more challenging.
According to a 2012 NRFC/Ad Council survey, 64 percent of fathers said that bonding/spending time with their families is what they most look forward to on Father's Day. Rather than any item I gave or have received, most of my fondest childhood memories with my father involved spending quality time together doing things. Simple car repairs, playing ball, or practicing driving were all vivid memories of time spent together with my father and siblings. Today in my role as husband and father, my kids’ recollections of their most fun-filled times are all centered around us spending time together flying a kite, doing arts and crafts, playing board games, etc.—again, placing more value on spending quality time than on spending money.
Whether it’s preparing his favorite meal, taking him to dinner, watching a game, or fixing something around the house, Father’s Day and every day have the potential to be a family affair and an investment of quality time with fathers and families.
In celebration of Dad on this Father’s Day, acknowledge him in whatever way you choose, but be sure it includes his children and family. If Dad does not live with his children, send him a letter or use technology to communicate appreciation to him via social media, texts and/or video messages.
Happy Father’s Day from the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse!
Patrick J. Patterson, MSW, MPH, Manager, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse