Celebrating Our Parents

Erroll Lewis  |  7/31/2014 12:59:15 AM

fathers and sons image

Last month in June we celebrated a holiday entitled “Father’s Day," and before that, in the month of May, we celebrated “Mother’s Day." Should we continue these traditions? Are they over-commercialized for profit and greed? One might think by now we should honor and celebrate our parents daily and give them the respect and reverence they’re worthy of, like in so many other countries. Are all parents worthy of this tradition? And if you were a child adopted or raised in foster care, why not have “Adoptive Parent’s Day" or "Foster Parent’s Day"? Like most things in this changing and complicated world, we need to explore and engage in more dialog and conversation on these issues.

Father’s Day Facts

  • Washington state’s governor is credited, through Sonora Dodd, for founding Father’s Day in 1910.
  • President Nixon signed a proclamation in 1972 making Father's Day a federal holiday.
  • Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.
  • The rose is the official flower - red roses for living fathers and white for deceased fathers.
  • Economists estimate one billion dollars is spent on Father’s Day each year.

I want to focus on fathers. This topic is being discussed much more in various systems in society, here in America and other areas of the world. There are many questions that still plague children and especially the spouse or companion who had children and for no logical reason, the father abandoned the family. Obviously, this is not the case with a large number of responsible, caring and loving fathers, however, some have not been fathers to their children and many say this may be the reason or cause of problems for numerous youth and primary school age children. This is an international and global concern as well. The faces of fathers are not just one type, or economic status, race or religion - fatherlessness is shattering the lives of children worldwide.

Statistics indicate that in America there are more homeless single fathers than ever before. Single fathers are going to shelters more - with one, two or more children than in recent years. These fathers are teens and young adults and even middle aged men, forty and up, with some having college degrees. There are a number of elements that have contributed to fathers becoming homeless. Economic downturns and the 2008 mortgage crisis which resulted in lost jobs and a great deal of foreclosures are factors. Lack of education, mental illness and substance abuse are all contributing factors as well. Fathers should be able to nurture, care and provide a safe, structured and healthy environment for their children in order for them to thrive and develop.

Father Facts

  • There are approximately 70.1 million fathers in the United States of America.
  • There are 1.1 million incarcerated fathers who are parents of children (ages 0-17) in the USA.
  • In 2013, 24.7 million fathers were married with children (ages 0-18) in the USA.
  • In 2013, there were 2.0 million single fathers in America.

US Census
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Fathers Incorporated

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