This Sunday, June 20, is Father’s Day, a time to honor dad in a way that shows him how much you love him and how important he has been in your life. Fathers play such an important role in a child’s life but it has been only in last 30 years that researchers have determined the extent of that impact.
Father’s Day is a relatively new holiday that was celebrated for decades before it became a national holiday in 1972. The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated in 1910 right here in Washington State in Spokane. A Spokane woman named Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to establish an official holiday equivalent to Mother’s Day and reached out to community leaders and organizations to get support for her vision. The community loved the idea and Washington celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.
Unlike the traditional Mother’s Day gifts of flowers and jewelry, Father’s Day gifts are usually based more on fathers’ hobbies and interests.
It took some years for Father’s Day to catch on nationally because of the perception that men were not sentimental enough to even want a day to celebrate fatherhood. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson participated in a ceremony to unfurl a flag in Spokane, using telegraph signals from Washington, D.C. By 1924, President Calvin Coolidge was urging state governments to observe the holiday.
The involvement of fathers in the lives of their children cannot be understated. According to a study called “Fathers and Their Impact on Children’s Well-Being,”
“Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections.”
A number of studies indicate that children whose fathers are involved in their lives will have better educational outcomes. An engaged father will increase the verbal and intellectual functioning of children and lead to greater academic achievement in high school and college and success in adulthood.
So, don’t forget Dad this weekend and give him the gift that a father could appreciate most: Recognition for how important he has been in your life!