Today we observed Father's Day. For many years psychologists had assumed that the father-child bond was far less important than the mother-child bond. They believed that so strongly that there were almost no studies commissioned to study the impact of fathers on the lives of their children. Only since the 1970's have the psychologists had any real appreciation for fatherhood, and even now, there are far more studies about Mothers than there are about Fathers. However, it should be said that Fathers, even if they are only the breadwinners for the family, have a significant impact on their child's life if only that keeping the family out of poverty has a significant positive impact on children. In the 1970's a researcher who had dared to look more closely at the Father-child bond found that “the interaction that at least some infants have with their fathers is enjoyable and marked by highly positive emotions on both sides.” Being a father myself starting in 1981, I have to say that the scientific community was a little slow off the mark. I took my kids to lessons, took them to school, cooked, cleaned and did all manner of things with my kids. Judging from the way the treat me in 2014, I have to say that my relationship with each of my children goes far past having an enjoyable relationship with highly positive emotions. I taught them to cook, and to clean, as well as how to cut the grass and plant bushes and flowers in the yard. There is a refrigerator magnet for sale that says "Life doesn't come with an instruction book, that is why we have fathers" ... They sell a lot of these in their store, so I was not the only one with positive emotional benefits on both sides.
Here are a few other memories of fathers discussed in our 2014 salute to fathers at our little church building that looks like a house on Lancaster Road, Reynoldsburg, OH: Sometimes our fathers are more of a worrier than our mothers. A dad'who played with fire when he was a child grew up to be a chemist who was an expert in combustion processes. A dad who grew up as a farmer who had to learn to be a prison guard during WWII. A grandfather who grew up under an alcoholic father, quit school to help earn money for the family and provided for his own children so well that his son was the first member of the family to go to college. Many people remembered fathers who were in the military, some who supported their own children's entry into the military and some who did not. Many people remembered that their fathers were the ones who made sure their children never were as hungry as they had been in the depression... a special shout out to the father who said "you can eat a possum, but you have to be really hungry."
Dads are handy and can build stuff with old boards and bailing wire... sometimes the old boards were re-used from packing crates. And we remembered dads who were really good at what they did for a living. One dad was a policeman who solved as many crimes as a detective. He did not want to be a detective because detectives were subject to political influence. He warned his child to stay away from politics because somebody had to do real work in this world. Being a street policeman was where things got done and a man could be proud of that.
Here is more about fathers and their recent reexamination by science: