Tag Archives: fathers day

Fathers Deserve More Recognition

It’s commonly observed that Father’s Day celebrations tend to be quieter and simpler than for Mother’s Day. At times, fathers are even thought of as being helpful, but not critically necessary.

On the contrary, fathers should be given more recognition, at least for the following reasons:

  • The cost of father absence to the community is estimated to be over AUD$12 billion per year in Australia, while the U.S. government spent at least US$99.8 billion providing assistance to father-absent families in 2006.
  • Close to 90 studies published in the last decade highlight the importance of father involvement, based on the 2013 review by The Fathering Project at the University of Western Australia.
  • In a review of 36 studies from around the world (beyond the Western context), it has been concluded that a father’s love is at least as important, if not more, to youngsters as their mother’s.

Taken together, recent research about fatherhood has provided new insights about the critical and distinctive roles played by fathers, and the significant long-term impact they have on the social, cognitive, emotional and physical well-being of children.

Research suggests that fathers’ impact on kids’ behaviour begins as early as infancy. Mothers tend to keep their babies calm, gazing at them, babbling together and affectionately touching them. Fathers tend to get the babies more excited and laughing, often playing physical games that arouse or startle them. Fathers contribute most to providing play exploration which helps to develop emotional and behavioural self-regulation, while mothers tend to be the providers of comfort in times of distress.

Father involvement has been linked to fewer behavioural problems among school-age children, less delinquency among teenage boys and fewer psychological problems in young women.

Fathers play an integral role in children’s socialization. The time that teenagers spent with fathers in the presence of others was linked to increased social competence; the same effect was not observed with mothers. Paternal support tends to be associated with social competence in the school setting while maternal support is associated with academic competence.

Fathers also make unique contributions to teen development. From measures of 60 potential links between parental factors and teen outcomes in a longitudinal study, 20% were unique to fathers. Fathers’ influence on alcohol and illicit drug use in youths may be stronger than that of mothers. Father absence is a critical contributor to adolescent sexual risk behaviour in both sons and daughters. A study of Thai youth found that youth who have a close relationship with their father are less likely to initiate premarital sex during adolescence.

In summary, there is compelling evidence that fathers are irreplaceable and their distinctive parenting style complements mothers in significant ways for the healthy development of children.

What fathers do with their children on a day-to-day basis makes a great difference not only to their children, but also to society and for the generations to follow. This Father’s Day, let’s make special effort to affirm and honour fathers among our midst!

References:

Dads for Life. (n.d.) Where Do Fathers Stand in Shaping Healthy Teen Sexuality. Retrieved from http://pruitttad461.typepad.com/blog/2012/02/where-do-fathers-stand-in-shaping-healthy-teen-sexuality.html

Macrae, F. (2012, 13 June). How Absence of a Loving Father Can Wreck a Child’s Life: New Study Shows Relationship with Both Parents Is Crucial. Daily Mail. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2158671/Love-father-contributes-childs-development-mother-study-claims.html

Mitchell, P.J., (2013, August 21). The Unique Benefits of Fatherhood. [A review of Gender and Parenthood: Biological and Social Perspectives] eReview Vol. 13, No. 16.  Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. Retrieved from http://www.imfcanada.org/issues/unique-benefits-fatherhood

Nock, S.L. & Einolf, C.J. (2008). The One Hundred Billion Dollar Man: The Annual Public Costs of Father Absence. National Fatherhood Initiative. Retrieved from http://www.ct.gov/dcf/lib/dcf/fatherhood/pdf/fatherabsencecost.pdf

Shellenbarger, S.(2011, June 14). The Secret of Dads’ Success: How Fathers’ Teasing, Tickling, Wrestling Teach Kids to Whine Less and Be More Independent. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved fromhttp://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304665904576383464255980534?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304665904576383464255980534.html

The Fathering Project (n.d.). About the Fathering Project. Retrieved from http://thefatheringproject.org/about-the-fathering-project

Wood, L. & Lambin, E. (2013). How Fathers and Father Figures Can Shape Child Health and Wellbeing. The University of Western Australia. Retrieved fromhttp://thefatheringproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/How-fathers-and-father-figures-can-shape-child-health-and-wellbeing-Wood-Lambin-UWA-2013.pdf

Celebrate Mother & Father’s Day with a PARENTpedia!

Hello friends!

We’re sorry for the radio silence that has enveloped this blog over the past few months. Life caught up with us at the Focus office, and things have been a little crazy the past 6 months. Some highlights from the past few months include our first ever Christmas along Orchard Road, ran Date with Dad again *yay!*, conducted Adventure with Dad, a father-son bonding camp, for the first time ever.

We’re coming to the end of April, and that means Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are right around the corner! And here’s what we have for you….

Presenting the PARENTpedia Photobook!

Snapshots of the PARENTpedia Photobook

We have created the PARENTpedia Photobook: a personalized photobook that celebrates & honors the unique individual behind the title “Dad” or “Mom”, quirks and all 🙂

With our specially designed templates, you’ll get to do the following through the photobook:

  • Affirm their personality and character
  • Acknowledge their preferences, likes and dislikes
  • Appreciate their unique quirks and habits

Our corporate partner, p;log, has pledged 40% of all sales proceeds of the PARENTpedia Photobook to Focus on the Family Singapore. So your gift of love will go beyond your recipient and further the work of helping families thrive!

Help us spread the word by sharing the flyer below with your friends and family, find out more about the PARENTpedia on our website, or place your order with us now.

Thank you for your support 🙂

Celebrate Mother and Father's Day with a PARENTpedia Photobook!

 

 

Can I Have My Hand Back?

I am a Dad to a girl and a boy – a pair of teenage twins actually, who will turn 15 soon. With Fathers Day coming up, it’s appropriate to share a reflection on being a Dad.

The context of this Dad story began three years ago. That was when my wife and I began what was to be a permanent relocation exercise which started the biggest transition ever in our lives. Coincidentally perhaps, my wife and I were approaching mid-life and our twins were approaching adolescence.

About the same time a major crisis struck the (broader) organization where my wife and I worked. This sparked off a chain of events that snowballed as the situation deteriorated rapidly, causing delay upon delay to our relocation timeline. My wife and I were roped in to help in damage control while uncertainty got added to the future plans of a family already in a major tailspin.

We were caught up in a whirlpool on no-man’s land as we grappled with life transitions and two career switches. Our family felt lost and each one of us also felt the full impact of the resulting emotional tsunami that descended upon us.

The strains on our relationships showed – I took turns to bicker either with my son, my daughter or my wife. Yes, another transition that I struggled with was the switch from parenting two kids to parenting two teenagers. My wife had been intentionally preparing for this change and she is fine in this department.

I saw the many ways a crisis can play out. It destabilises and even destroys. I have also seen how it can draw a family closer. Our family went through many tense moments. But we also had more heart-to-heart talks. We have actually grown closer.

Three years have now passed and I have changed. This protracted transition was actually an opportunity for me to grow as a Dad.

Today, I am even more convinced that there are Dads for a reason. We have very distinct responsibilities. We help the family walk through difficult times.

Throughout this season, my greatest desire as a Dad is to have a loving father’s heart towards my kids – despite lapses in my expectations of them or good advice that often goes unheeded.

I’ve also discovered that I’ve got a big responsibility as a life-guide to my kids. It is most rewarding when they can grow up valuing relationships, being responsible and communicating honestly.  Fatherhood and paternal involvement are integral to healthy children and a thriving society.

Dads make mistakes and I mess up, too often myself. I struggle to be a great Dad but I am doing the best I can because I love my kids! No matter how much pressure I feel, I want to be there for our twins.

One dad memory that I shall always take with me was my son telling me that we should not hug in public any more. That was hard.

Another happened when I was walking our twins to school. My daughter let go of my hand as we approached the school gate. At the point of release, I fell into a state of disbelief. Fatherly grief followed suit.

A third memory was when my daughter said: “Dad, can I have my hand back?” To which I asked: “But I’ve been holding your hand for over 10 years … and you want it back?”

It seems like Father’s Day is more of a day of practical gift giving. But it doesn’t always have to be this way. This Father’s Day, I will be spending time with my Dad and I will tell him that he did a good job. You can too.

Happy Father’s Day!

Ben KC Lee

My Thoughts on Dad

What comes to mind when you think of your dad? Is it the ugly Christmas sweater he insists on wearing every Christmas? Or perhaps it’s his constant leg shaking while eating at the dinner table? Or maybe it brings back memories of your childhood when he seemed so strong and invincible. To some what comes to mind can be rather complex. With Father’s Day coming up, I want to share with everyone what comes to my mind when I think about my dad, but before I do that, I need to give you a little background about my family.

I grew up in Japan in a bicultural home. My mother is Japanese and my father is American. Some time in his early twenties, my dad decided to marry my mom and start a family in Japan. My dad, being the only blond haired blue-eyed man in our neighborhood, stood out everywhere he went. Especially where we were, it was still uncommon to find a “gaijin” or foreigner raising a family. Growing up, I was the only child with a non-Japanese parent in my school for the longest time.

There is a famous Japanese proverb, “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down”. This proverb proved to be very true for me. Being half American, I naturally looked a little different from the rest of my Japanese classmates. I was picked on often for my “foreign” appearance and endured quite a bit of bullying. Those years were one of the worst years of my life. Every day I will come home from school feeling rejected by my peers. To cope with the hurt, I blamed my dad. I reasoned that I was only being bullied because I was half American and decided to refuse being seen with my dad. I begged him not to come to any school events or sports games that I was participating in.

If only I could take those words back now. Missing out on spending time with my dad during my childhood is one of the biggest regrets of my life. If only back then, I could show my dad how proud I was of him.

When I think about my dad, I am filled with various emotions. I feel regret that I missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow up and spend time with my dad. But, I really feel proud of my dad for having endured 14 years of being “different” from everyone else in Japan. While I felt the hammer of conformity, he chose to “stand out” and love me regardless. And I know that the only reason he was able to do so was because he loved us more than he loved himself. That’s why when I think about my dad, the pride that fills me is bigger than all the regrets and all the “only ifs”. And someday, I hope to be just like my dad.