I recall some of what life was like when I was growing up as a little girl with my Dad. He was a fisherman by profession and although there was not much income coming into the home at the time, a day did not escape us when food was on the table for my little brother and I to eat.
Still I would say for the most part, we were stricken with poverty. It became the customary way of life. There was nothing for us to benchmark against because it would seem like everyone in the village had struggles of some kind of their own, one way or the other.
Back then, we also knew nothing about what it was like to celebrate Father’s Day. In fact, even though the very first Father’s Day is said to have been founded by Sonora Smart Dodd and celebrated in Spokane, Washington, June 19th 1910, we had never heard of it.
There was no conversation about it. No affordable gifts or expensive gifts for dads. No cards. No special dinner to attend.
Really? Odd, you would say. Truth be told, we were not exposed to the outside world to that extent. To be exact, I was born during the very latter part of the post World War II baby boom years.
I remember there was one telephone and one TV in the entire village. Large crowds would gather at nights outside the window of that home, just to get a glimpse of the black and white screen with stories such as “Little House On The Prairie.”
Anyone can be a father but it takes a real man to be a daddy. ~Anonymous
My father however passed away in my early teenage years, leaving my mother to raise my brother and I until we became adults.
Now That We Know – What Is Father’s Day?
Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is that one day of the year set aside, usually the third Sunday in the month of June when children in particular honor their fathers, fatherhood is celebrated, paternal bonds are strengthened and/or renewed and the influence of fathers in today’s society is looked at in close details. In Australia, it is said to be celebrated the first Sunday in September. This year, Father’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday June 21st, 2015.
In scripture the word ‘father’ is found more than 1100 times. Yet today, it is becoming increasingly hard to find a father in the home. There is no question in my mind then that children who grow up in such homes are at a much greater risk.
Statistical data gathered from research has shown the following:
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24M children in America, 1 out of 3 children now live in a home where the biological father is absent
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes [U.S. Dept. of Health/Census]
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
- 85% of the children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average [Center for Disease Control]
- 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes – 14 times the average [Justice and Behavior, vol 14, p.403-26]
- 71% of all high school drop outs come from fatherless homes – 9 times the average [National Principals Association]
- 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes [U.S. Dept. of Justice, Sept, 1988]
The Real Man In The House – Few Facts On The Importance Of Fathers
Based on social science research on the effects of having a father in the home, here are a few facts to be noted:
1. Fathers who frequently attend religious services or are Christians tend to be more engaged with their children
2. Children have the highest benefits and fare better in cognitive achievement and behavior outcomes when their father is living in the home.
3. He is a good disciplinarian and spend on average more quality time with his children
The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them. ~ Confucius
4. Positive psychological well-being in adolescent children is strongly associated with fathers having a close relationship with them
5. Lower levels of behavioral problems are exhibited in children whose fathers are more involved
6. Higher academic performance in children is linked to the involvement of their fathers
7. Pillar of strength and support
8. Depression is less likely when adolescent girls have a strong relationship with their father.
9. Sexual activities are more likely to be delayed and the chances of teen and pre-marital pregnancy are also less likely to occur
10. There is a very strong correlation between adolescent males who have a close relationship with their fathers and them having a happy, healthy and stable marriage/relationships
11. The likelihood of incarceration later in life is much reduced when children grow up in homes in which their father is present.
12. Children are more likely to be protected from the negative influence of peer pressure and drug use when their father is living in the home
Things I Wished My Father Had Taught Me
Let me be clear here and say that I was daddy’s little girl. I was made to feel like his angel. He provided for his family the best way he could and took care of us. I believe he loved me and did what he thought was right.
Yet still, having lived with and experienced a number of things on life’s journey, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that there were many aspects of life that I’ve had to learn the hard way.
Today I have mixed feelings, some of sadness and regret. My sadness is because he is not around for me to tell him that in spite of, I love and honor him and to shower him with Father’s Day gifts like many of you will be doing.
There is a bit of regret, though because I feel I was not taught the seriousness of life so that when I grew up into adulthood and began to face the real world that I would have known before hand that life is no bed of roses.
I never heard ‘no’ or ‘wait’ as answers from him and so he made it seem that everything came so easy [for me] in life. What a shock it was for me as I navigated through life in my early adult life to realize, nothing comes easy!
I wished my father had disciplined me and had given me the guidance and direction.
I wished my father had taught me about the qualities to look for in a man when making the decision for my mate. Not having that instilled in me, I believe caused me to blunder in my young adult life and, such being the error of my ways, affected my choice in men and my relationships…..so much more….
My final thoughts..
I have made peace with him through forgiveness and have made peace with myself, that my father really did the best that he knew how. One can only teach what they have learned. And it is still my responsibility to give honor to him even though he is not here with me.
God is the one who ordain and order our steps in life. Nothing happens without Him allowing it. Our life is pre-destined even before we were placed in our mother’s womb.
Life was meant to be the way that it turned out to be. The experiences and the lessons I have learned were necessary for me to teach and reach others and to make an impact on their life for a greater good.
Having said that, happy Father’s Day, my Father and happy Father’s Day to all of you fathers. I join with others and celebrate your fatherhood. You are God’s best! You are the real man in the home!