Happy Father’s Day!

It is said a father is every son’s first hero and every daughter’s first love. The power and impact of a father’s presence in a child’s life is unmatched – when you’re old enough for him to stop holding your hand, he spends the rest of his life having your back. Fathers teach us strength in silence.

Father’s Day is a special day observed across the world to honor and appreciate the important role that fathers play in our lives. It’s a day for us to thank them for their love, support, advice, and sacrifices. Father’s Day is a sincere tribute to the unsung heroes who have greatly influenced our lives and helped us grow into the people we are and will be.

The love of a father is generally silent and unselfish, manifested by his acts rather than his words. He works tirelessly to provide for his family, making sure their necessities are satisfied and their aspirations come true. Working long hours, forsaking personal ambitions, or making difficult decisions, fathers prioritize the well-being of their families over their own.

Fathers are equally important in developing their children’s personalities and guiding them through life’s problems. They are there to extend a helping hand, provide advice, and listen. The presence and involvement of a father in a child’s life benefit their emotional well-being and general development. He fosters a sense of comfort and belonging through instilling confidence, encouraging curiosity, and celebrating accomplishments.

Each year, the third Sunday of June is celebrated as Father’s Day in the US and while India follows it, many other countries including Portugal, Spain, Croatia, Italy and others celebrate Father’s Day on 19th March. Father’s Day, which will be celebrated on 18th June, 2023, has an interesting history. Did you know that ‘Father’s Day’ was conceptualised in the USA in the early twentieth century to complement Mother’s Day? Reportedly it was first celebrated one hundred and twelve years ago on 19th June, 1910 at the YMCA in the city of Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd. Sonora was inspired to start the Father’s Day movement after hearing a sermon on Anna Jarvis, who had earlier started Mother’s Day. Sonora felt Father’s deserved equal recognition. After all, she had herself witnessed her father William Jackson Smart (a Civil War Veteran) raise his six children as a single parent. Sonora was just sixteen when her mother died in childbirth with her sixth child. Being the only daughter, she shared the responsibility of raising her five younger brothers, including her new infant brother, Marshall.

Anyone can be a ‘Father’, but being a ‘Cool Dad’ is the job of a lifetime! A common trait among all cool dads is total acceptance of responsibility and wearing it well. Cool dads don’t complain about their children not listening to them; they simply stay aware of the fact that the children are watching them and knowing that they will mimic how daddy thinks, speaks or behaves.

Cool dads are not always rich, but they are always caring, loving and make the time, despite all odds, to be with their children at school-sports, dramatics, award functions… cheering for them when successful, and consoling them when not. A dad not only influences who we are inside, but also how we have relationships with people as we grow. The way a father treats his child deeply influences what he or she looks for in other people. The patterns a father sets in the relationship with his children dictates how his children relate with other people.

Young girls, in particular, depend on their fathers for security and emotional support. A father demonstrates to his daughter what a good relationship with a man is like. If a father is loving and gentle, his daughter will look for those qualities in men when she’s old enough to begin dating. However, unlike girls, who model their relationships with others based on their father’s character, boys’ model themselves after their father’s character. If a father is caring and treats people with respect, the young boy will grow up much the same.

Where the father is concerned, his world changes from the moment he holds up his first born. His children colour every aspect of his life. While children may sometimes complicate life, at the end of it all, the experience is usually enriching and ennobling. Moments of fatigue and frustration often play hide-and-seek with moments of pride and joy. However, as the saying goes: “when a father gives to his son, both laugh; when a son gives to his father, both cry!”

Father’s Day is a moment to recognize and thank fathers for their enduring love, support, and dedication. It is a day to reflect on how much they have influenced our lives and to express gratitude for their sacrifices. Let us cherish and celebrate our fathers and all father figures in our lives, throughout the year, not just on this special day, to recognize the vital role they play in moulding our lives and the world around us. After all, truly is it said, “A father’s tears and fears are unseen, his love is unexpressed, but his care and protection remains as a pillar of strength throughout our lives.”

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