Fathers matter. Father’s Day matters.

It’s Father’s Day today! Well, in Australia at least. Many countries have seen attacks on Father’s Day but Australia had been spared, at least until this year. A women who calls herself Red Ruby Scarlet has called for Father’s Day to be replaced by Special Person’s Day in Australia. She’s received some media attention and fortunately significant push-back from the community. Scarlet was apparently arguing that celebrating Father’s Day would be exclusionary for people without fathers. Taking this argument to its logical conclusions leads to absurdity. My 10 year old daughter suggested that if we took this further the US should abolish Independence Day since not everyone lives in an independent country.

Father’s Day has been under attack for years as regular readers of AVfM will know. There have recently been some suggestions that Mother’s Day has been under attack too. Fortunately today we have tools that help us quickly address this possibility. Let’s see what Google Trends says.

This term was taken from a similar hashtag. Searching for the hashtag and other similar phrases led to similar results.

The occasional article argues for getting rid of both but the graphic above shows that the bulk of the attacks are directed against Father’s Day alone.

Fathers matter. Fathers add value in the lives of children. Mothers and fathers play differently with children. The activities that fathers bring to play often include elements of rough and tumble and spontaneity that are beneficial to children.

A US government report on the value of fathers for the healthy development of children found that:

Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes. A number of studies suggest that fathers who are involved, nurturing, and playful with their infants have children with higher IQs, as well as better linguistic and cognitive capacities. Toddlers with involved fathers go on to start school with higher levels of academic readiness. They are more patient and can handle the stresses and frustrations associated with schooling more readily than children with less involved fathers.

Not everyone can have a dad. Not every man can be a dad. We also know all too well there are people in our community who have been deprived of the chance to be a dad through parental alienation, sometimes with the assistance of the state. The value of fatherhood should spur us on to prevent this from happening.

Let’s celebrate fatherhood and make sure that Father’s Day continues to be a day to celebrate fatherhood and all of the many benefits it brings to children and to the family.

I’ll bring this article to a close as I’m taking my daughter out to ride her bike, and then I’m helping her with maths. Fathers matter and Father’s Day matters.

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