Your Best Life as an Involved Dad

father's day fatherhood healthy family parenting Jun 18, 2024

In 1909 in Spokane, Wash., Sonora Smart Dodd listened to a Mother's Day sermon at Central Methodist Episcopal Church. Dodd's own mother had died 11 years earlier, and her father had raised their six children alone. Dodd felt moved to honor her father, and fathers everywhere, with a special day as well. She proposed her idea to local religious leaders, and gained wide acceptance. June 19, 1910, was designated as the first Father's Day, and sermons honoring fathers were presented throughout the city. (Butler, Joey (June 18, 2010). "Father's Day has Methodist ties".)

Here in the United States, numerous attempts were made through the years to make Father’s Day an officially-recognized holiday, but it took awhile to gain traction. Many men viewed the would-be holiday as a blatant marketing ploy by retailers who sold neckties, men’s accessories and sports equipment or a lame attempt to compete with the more sentimental Mother’s Day. It wasn’t made an official holiday until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation that designated the third Sunday in June in 1972.

Social trends in the US during the past few decades have added layers of complication to the celebration of fathers, since fatherlessness has hit epidemic proportions; one in every four children live in a home with no dad. The traditional family, with Father working to provide for his family while Mother stays in the home overseeing the nurture, education, feeding and training of children is a rare thing these days (although there has been a resurgence, especially since the Covid pandemic, often with great success.)

Today’s Dad is much more likely to share household and parenting responsibilities with Mom, while Mom is more likely to also contribute to the family’s income by having a career. For families in which this balance has been negotiated in a healthy manner, life is good. When parents function as a team, kids thrive intellectually, emotionally, and socially. But it isn’t just the kids who benefit – dads do, too!

According to the National Fatherhood Initiative® 2019, Father Facts: Eighth Edition, there are some great reasons why being an involved dad is good for you.

Involved Dads:

  • Are happier
  • Have better physical and mental health
  • Live longer
  • Have less depression
  • Have increased self-esteem
  • Are more active in their community
  • Are more involved with civic groups

 Involved Dads are moved to:

  •  Adopt a healthier model of masculinity
  • Reduce alcohol and substance use
  • Find stable, secure jobs
  • Better manage and save money
  • Strengthen family ties

I would like to add another benefit of being involved with your children – it’s fun! Kids offer a great opportunity to play with cool toys, wrestle, engage in games and sports and try out your best “Dad Jokes”. Your kids might even think they’re funny!

 Fatherhood is one of the most challenging undertakings in your life, but whether it’s a battle you choose to fight for the benefit of your children or a daily joy, there is no greater honor for a man than to set an example for his children and help them grow into confident, secure, responsible adults. To live your best life, stay regularly involved with your kids!

 Live, Work and Relate Well!

 Dr. Todd

 For more information on the National Fatherhood Initiative, contact them at PO Box 37635, PMB 84123, Philadelphia, PA, 19101-0635 | 301-948-0599 |

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