It’s that time of year again when the media speculates about Father’s Day and how many people do and don’t like Dad. I was listening to a local radio show where the host mentioned that people he talked to said Dad was a jerk and they didn’t like him much and saw no reason to celebrate. I wanted to call into the show and tell them what I thought of this touching tribute to Dad but I was driving and decided not to waste my time.
Instead, I will tell you, dear readers, what I think of people who so readily dismiss fathers and how amazing Dads are to us. Kids who dismiss their Dad this way are missing out on what could have been a good and decent relationship. I wonder how many people out there listen to a society that tells its members that not only do Dads suck, but so do all men. Why is any intelligent person listening? Why are they taking this message to heart? And why are they so hard on Dads?
Dads are amazing if you give them a chance, even if they say nothing. Dads help kids learn how to handle the hardships and problems of life and its good times. They nurture in their own way by showing kids how to take risks, how to learn discipline and how to live a more well-adjusted life. From the website The Art of Manliness:
The Grant Study, the longest longitudinal study ever done on the lives of men, found that a man’s father influenced his life in many ways exclusive to his relationship with his mother. Loving fathers imparted to their sons:
enhanced capacity to play
more enjoyment of vacations
greater likelihood of being able to use humor as a healthy coping mechanism
better adjustment to, and contentment with, life after retirement
less anxiety and fewer physical and mental symptoms under stress in young adulthood
So maybe a father isn’t as loving as a kid would like, but there most likely is something there in the relationship that is worth salvaging. Maybe if the kid quit thinking about what a “jerk” Dad is and just tried to fine some good there, he or she just might.
Our society needs to quit being so hard on Dads and give those that try some support and encouragement. This societal sourness on Dads and men in general is detrimental, not only to the men that it berates, but to their kids who live a lifetime of resentment and at some point, regret.
Maybe if instead of calling Dads jerks, their kids reached out and said “How are you?” and spent a few minutes or hours with Dad this Father’s Day, it might change things. Maybe if the media would shut the hell up with their misandric messages, Dads would be more involved in their kids’ lives. But a positive male message would be blasphemy to the media, which loves to blame men for the ills of the world, and in turn, get their listeners to do the same.
Instead of being bad role models, most Dads I have known, including my own, have been examples of kindness and love and have enriched their kids’ lives more than they will ever know.
Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there who are Dads. Thank you for everything you do for your kids and for the sacrifices you have made so that your kids can lead better lives. Men don’t hear words of encouragement enough and many shrug it off and say they don’t need it.
Don’t listen. Men are still human and need some validation that what they do matters. Father’s Day is a time to celebrate Dads, not call men jerks. To do so is to ruin your own relationship with your father, and the negativity ruins the spirit of a day meant to celebrate the wonder of men, not cut them down. If you do so, you are the toxic one, not your father.