Giving thanks for Fathers!
“Then he’ll lift me way up high…
…till I am taller than the sky.”
Do you think that Mother’s and Father’s Day have become overly commercialised? Perhaps, but I must confess that as I run my own gift business, I could be accused of contributing to the situation… or do I? Father’s Day is celebrated in the UK and US on the 3rd Sunday in June. New Zealand and Australia however, celebrate it on the 1st Sunday in September and other cultures around the world fit it in with different community celebrations.
Although aspects of these celebrations can seem overly focused on the purchase of gifts, they can and should have significant meaning and purpose. After all… celebrating the fundamental role of men in the family and particularly in the lives of children as they grow and learn is surely a good thing to do?
UNICEF would seem to agree, saying that, “Fathers are one of the best, yet most under-utilised child development resources.”
Last year, in honour of Father’s Day commemorations around the world, UNICEF launched a parenting site to bring fathers together to share experiences of parenthood. They called for more support for fathers globally, including, “policies that give parents the time and resources they need to spend quality time with their children.”
That’s what celebrating Father’s Day should be all about. Giving thanks to those who give time, love, wisdom and fun into the lives of their own children as well as those of their friends – especially, as UNICEF research indicates, when they are young (see key facts). So, if you’re celebrating Father’s Day this year, I’ve created a little task for you to think through, based on two illustrations from my children’s picture book, “My Dad will Do”.
PICTURE 1: PRESENCE
Q: How often are you spending time with the children in your care and especially in a way they know they have 100% of your attention?
PICTURE 2: POTENTIAL
Q: Think of one key way you can ‘lift up’ a child in the next month so they can discover new worlds to view.
- In the first 1,000 days, babies’ brains form new connections at an astounding rate: up to 1,000 every single second – a pace never repeated again.
- 1-3 month old babies see things best when they are between 20-30 cm away.
- By 3 months, babies have a greater range of vision. Over 80% of your baby’s brain is formed by the age of 3.
- Up to 75% of each meal goes to build your baby’s brain.
- 15 minutes of play can spark thousands of brain connections in your baby’s brain.
“…And I can now see anything, new worlds to view.
What my Dad can, now I can too.”