Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June but it is also celebrated widely on other days. According to 2005 UK study on fatherhood there is an unmistakable worldwide trend in the participation of new fathers in the care and nurture of their young offspring. Of 156 cultures studied, only twenty percent have a tradition of promoting men having a closer relationship with infants and only five percent promote men having a closer relationship with young children. In spite of this, in many developed countries there is currently a distinct increase in the amount of time men are spending in parenting infants.
The survey, published in FatherWorld, a publication of Fathers Direct, the UK national information center on fatherhood, investigated the amount of time spent in various cultures by fathers in hands-on infant and early childhood care activities. At one extreme was the Aka Pygmies, a central African tribe, whose fathers spend 47% of their time either holding or within arm’s reach of their infants. They beat even the Swedish fathers, who top the charts in the Western world by averaging 45% of the time in infant and childcare.
In typical British families fathers average a third of the parental childcare but this figure is rising. According to the Chief Executive of Fathers Direct, Duncan Fisher, “We are beginning to recognize that a revolution in paternal involvement with children is sweeping not just Britain but the world with huge potential benefits for families and for eradicating poverty and ill-health.”
The survey found in societies around the world increased levels of actual engagement by fathers in early child care. In the US, for example, in the 1960s, fathers did about 25% as much as mothers. By the late 1990s that had risen to between 55-70%. In Canada, the increase between 1986 and 1996 was from 50-65%. In the UK, according to Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) research, father engagement has risen by eight times in the last 30 years.
We can all speculate on the possible reasons for this trend. Perhaps the lower (and even minus) birthrates in Western societies has led to a closer interest and supervision in the nurture of infants by the fathers. Or, perhaps the permanent shift of more women into what were traditionally men’s roles has finally forced the more equal sharing of the traditionally women’s role of early infant care.
Whatever the reasons, the trend is a very positive one in terms of the beneficial results observed in child development and family stability. Many studies have shown that children who have benefited from early father involvement gain advantages in learning skills and social development.
If you’ve noticed in your own home that Father’s Day has become a more important holiday than it once was, that’s a good sign. If a father’s day gift is more apt to be a trip to the zoo or a board game than a silk tie or another billfold, that’s a good sign too. And the best Fathers Day gift of all is that eager welcoming look and tight hug around the neck from a happy toddler secure in his or her father’s loving arms. Nowdays, custom portrait paintings from photos are so popular, you can consider to turn your father’s favorite photos into beutifuls paintings then present him as Father’s Day gifts. This gift will be meaningful and unqiue.