09 Jun 2017

Father’s Day: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

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Instead of the flowers, here come the neckties. Gone are the pastels, in come the brown hues.  Brunch to celebrate? Well, yes, that’s the same. Last month we had Mother’s Day, this month it’s Father’s Day.

Following Anna Jarvis’s successful campaign in 1908 to initiate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day started about seven years later in order to honor the dads as well, especially in light of the end of the First World War.  It’s not just the US celebrating – hundreds of countries celebrate Father’s Day, with the majority of them celebrating on the same day as we do – the 3rd Sunday in June.

The role of father has evolved a lot since the advent of the dedicated Father’s Day a hundred years ago.  Traditionally, mothers were the primary care takers, even if they worked. While this is in large part still the case, fathers have also become much more egalitarian-involved, from carrying babies in carriers (did you catch that image of Orlando Bloom?), to attending more PTA meetings, to participating more in the laundry and dish washing.  In fact, a recent British Columbia University study equated broader career pursuits and higher achievement in daughters whose fathers did household chores.

Another reason the role of father has changed in the last century is with the higher rate of divorce in the past few decades.  Fathers tend to have less custody than mothers, and therefore less face time with the children. While divorce does not necessarily mean emotional or mental problems, the change in family setup does signify a different dynamic of relationship. 

Either way, no matter the type of relationship, the influence of a father on his children is certainly tantamount to the mother’s, and that’s what’s commemorated on Father’s Day.  

Bringing it home, Rockaway Care Center is all geared up for Father’s Day with our annual Father’s Day Social in the dining hall. Father residents, staff and relatives are all invited to join in on the festivities to honor the male contribution to child rearing. Today is a superb opportunity to thank your father.

Here are some timeless ideas for how to honor your father (and/or your son who’s the father of your grandchildren) on Father’s Day:

1.    Make a card, and inscribe three ways in which he influenced you positively.
2.    Make a scrapbook of photos of you both throughout the years. This can be a bonding family project.
3.    Do an arts and crafts project with father in mind, giving him a “take home” item for honoring your relationship.

Father’s Day provides us an opportunity to highlight all that we appreciate about our fathers, and thereby solidify the year-round relationship.  Apropos, we’re looking forward to Rockaway Care Center’s joyous father-focused gathering on Father’s Day, and we hope you are too. 


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