Families are different shapes and sizes, so whether we have a direct father figure or not, it is very likely we all have some sort of male role model or figure in our lives. This weekend, we have the opportunity to celebrate these figures in our lives, the parts they have played in shaping us, and all that they have done, for us and for others.
The world of fathering has been shifting over generations, acutely changing within the past few years. We have brought more flexibility to what we consider a father, what roles fathers play, and how active they are in our families and communities. We have been creating room for people to act in the ways that fit them most and contribute in the deepest ways to the lives of others. We have been shifting for the better, according to many studies on fatherhood and families.
While current and future generations are being raised with different ideas of what being a father means, many of us need to look back. Forgiveness is often an important part of celebrating our parents. Many of us might feel the need to forgive our fathers, in particular. As a society, we have traditionally placed a heavy burden onto fathers with little room for straying from the expected breadwinning, manly, figurehead we had been told to expect. These expectations have had ripple effects upon entire generations of fathers, children, and mothers that go far beyond the immediate relationships. In many ways, we are taking steps to change these effects, as we see more discussion and more wiggle room and more acceptance of difference.
The involvement of father figures, in all of their forms, are incredibly important to the outcomes of children, families, and communities. We can all do our best to celebrate the great things these figures have done and will do in our lives, while making room for different types of fathering.
So, let’s celebrate! The fathers and father-figures in our lives deserve to be acknowledged, for all that they were, all that they could be, and all that they are. Let’s take this weekend as a challenge to get to know them more, understand their world, and to appreciate all they have done for us.
Eliminate the pressure. There is no perfect day or perfect way to celebrate a human. We can make the celebration as close to what they might want as possible, but taking the pressure to have a perfect Father’s Day and to be a perfect dad can feel incredibly helpful for the whole family.
Spend time together! We often get distracted in all of the little things that need to be done that we forget the purpose of days like this. Being mindful of how we’re spending our time this weekend can help bring us back to celebrating the people in our lives.
Bring on the praise. Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs, one in which you often feel like nothing you do is enough. Sharing appreciation is one of the most impactful ways to celebrate a parent on their day.
Share. The memories, appreciation, and the moments that stick with us are what matter. Telling our stories helps us to bring us closer, to see one another’s perspectives, and to remember all that we love about each other.
Most of all, make the time and space for gratitude this Father’s Day. There are so many wonderful fathers and father-figures in our lives and we should take some time to remember, praise, and celebrate all that they do on this day.
Share your stories, thoughts, or plans for this Father’s Day in the comments below!
Happy sharing and celebrating,