Why celebrate Father’s Day? Whether you are an individual or part of an organisation, there are good reasons and ways to honour men in our lives who are fathers.
“Father’s Day is special to me because it reminds me to be proud. I think of how proud I am of my family that I (get to) hold in my arms and grow.” – Tom Chan*, dad of two kids, 8 and 10.
What’s the Big Deal?
It is not becoming of a man to complain. We expect men to make suggestions, think of solutions, see the bigger picture, and even give way to those in greater need.
Thus, there is no surprise to find that in many households today, Father’s Day is much less likely to be celebrated in a tangible way than Mother’s Day – after all, dads are not expected to be the types to make a big deal out of the occasion.
Even in history, Father’s Day was only inaugurated in the early twentieth century. That is quite a few millennia since we presumably emerged from caves, whereas Mother’s Day and its international variants have roots in ancient history. Mother’s Day in Greece, for example, traces its origins to the Orthodox church’s commemoration of Jesus Christ’s presentation to the temple on 2 February (1).
Why We Value Dad
The point is not to make Father’s Day another commercial celebration, but to express the value that Dads have in our lives. Valuing Dad is about focusing on relationships, as opposed to giving gifts of monetary value.
To show Dad that he is valued is to give him something priceless.
For some, Dad might not be perfect. In fact, he might be so imperfect that it feels justifiable to not celebrate Father’s Day at all. However, taking steps to show Dad that you value and respect him for all his strengths and in spite of his flaws, will help you make your relationship with Dad a little better than it was last Father’s Day.
Father's Day is a good opportunity to forgive hurts or disappointments, and seek some form of reconciliation. This will be the first stage to stepping out from the past for both father and child. It is the key to moving on and starting anew.
Here are some ways to value Dad.
Expressing How You Value Dad
“It is a great day, because my wife and kid do their best to make sure I don’t have to do anything like chores… At least for the first half hour of that morning...” – David Chew, 43, father of a teenage daughter.
1. Post a tribute to your dad. Think of what honouring him means to you, and choose to let him know through a card, a letter, an inspirational poster or even an online message in the form of an e-mail.
2. Talk to your dad, spend time with him and use the time to say at least one positive thing. If you have a strained relationship with him, do this anyway, but without expecting anything in return. Just say what you need to let him know about something positive that you honestly think about him.
3. Ask for advice. Your dad knows that he is valued when you ask for his opinion or view of something. Listen to him and get to know how he thinks about the topic that you brought up. It would be a bonus if you go back to him later and let him know how his input helped you.
4. Offer to help him with something and take time from your schedule to do it, like helping him set up his wireless Internet connection.
Ideas for Organisations
Organisations too, can get into the act of showing Dads that they are valued. It can enhance employee morale. It is also something that will boost the image and reputation of your organisation.
1. Acknowledge the importance of the occasion. Offer to let dads off early on the Friday before Father’s Day, or give them a family friendly gift, such as a fridge magnet photo frame, or a ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ mug with your company logo. Be creative and make it personal.
2. Arrange a ‘Bring your child to work’ day in honour of Father’s Day. This is a fun way to connect work with the personal purpose of the family men in your organisation.
3. For schools, initiate a Fathers@Schools programme for dads. Anytime near Father’s Day is the perfect time to do so.
4. Sponsor a family movie night in celebration of Father’s Day.
(1). Wikipedia - Mother's Day, retrieved 28 Mar 2012
Handy Websites for Father’s Day Ideas:
About the Author: The Dads for Life Resource Team comprises local content writers and experts, including psychologists, counsellors, educators and social service professionals, dedicated to developing useful resources for dads.