Father’s Day 2020: Tribute to All Single Fathers!
Father's Day is a celebration that honours the role of fathers and forefathers. It is a modern holiday, though the ancient Romans did have a tradition of honouring fathers, but only those who had deceased.
If we go around the world, in the USA, the first noted Father's Day celebration was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia. It was first celebrated as a church service at Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church.
It is said that Grace Golden Clayton suggested the service to the pastor as a memorial after a mine explosion in nearby Monongah had killed 361 men the previous winter. Another explanation for the service was Mothers' Day, which had been celebrated for the first time two months prior in Grafton, a town that was 15 miles away.
An alternative claim for the inventor of Father's Day is the president of the Chicago branch of the Lions' Club, Harry Meek. He is said to have celebrated the first Father's Day with his organization in 1915; and the day that they chose was the third Sunday in June, which was the closest Sunday to Meek's birthday.
A key figure in the establishment of Father's Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, as a single parent reared his six children. Mrs. Dodd initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of her father's death as a date for Father's Day. It is claimed that she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make the arrangements, and thus the celebration was put back to the third Sunday of June.
Around the world, Father's Day is celebrated on different dates, though the day is celebrated in a similar manner, usually involving giving gifts to fathers and family activities.
In India, it’s 21st June - Father’s Day! Today, we are celebrating all the single fathers out there doing an incredible job of raising their children on their own.
Raising children can be challenging. Doing it without a partner doubles the burden, whether by choice or circumstance, single parents carry a heavy load. Between work, school, doctor appointments and the list goes on and on.
Society perpetuates a negative view of dads after a family dissolves. Experts agree that fathers and their children suffer from assuming the worst about divorced dads.
In fact, all reputable social science research shows that children are better off having maximal contact with both of their parents post-divorce, according to author Grant Brown.
So instead of side-lining the single dads, let’s celebrate them!
Author Vicki Larson explains: “As much as we love the idea of men being an equal partner in a marriage, we don’t necessarily embrace the idea of men being an equal partner in a divorce. The divorced father who shows up for his kids in meaningful and obvious ways, such as taking a daughter to a midday, midweek ballet class, is still considered odd.”
After several dads and daughters were interviewed by a blogger Terry Gaspard; the following comments came from these individuals when asked to define a “competent dad.”
A competent dad:
- Considers fatherhood an honour, a privilege, and a lifetime commitment.
- Believes he plays an important role in the life of his kids.
- Values input from his children’s mother and speaks well of her.
- Puts his kid’s needs first and practices positive parenting.
- Enjoys spending time with his kids.
One of the biggest challenges that single fathers face is the stereotypes that exist about divorced fathers. It’s crucial to examine our beliefs and attitudes about the role of dads after divorce if we are going to break down barriers that create distance between fathers and children.
Hats off to these men for raising a child is already a tough task for any parent, but on the top of that to fight all these day-to-day prejudices and doing it relentlessly.
This Father’s Day, we have put together a list of four amazing single fathers from India, who prove that fathers are just as nurturing and caring as mothers.
Aditya Tiwari, a software engineer from Pune, literally moved mountains to become the youngest single adoptive parent in the country! In a country where adoption itself is looked down upon with prejudice, a single man choosing to adopt a child, that too one with special needs is definitely applaud worthy. Aditya brought home his son Avnish, a downs syndrome child at the age of 27 after an arduous struggle with the adoption laws in India. But he did not sit back until he was finally allowed to adopt his son.
Dancer and choreographer Sandip Soparkar was probably the first single man in the country to adopt a child. Sandip adopted his son Arjun when he was 2 and said that the best part about being a single parent was the fact that he had his son all to himself! While the society often tried to pull him down, Sandip listened to his heart and raised his son all on his own.
Rahul Bose, known for his exceptional roles, is not just a man of words. While this may not be the mainstream definition of fatherhood, however, it is still a commendable thing Rahul is doing. He has adopted six kids from Andaman and Nicobar Island, where his charity organization works. He adopted 6 children, aged 11 in 2008, and raised 24 lakhs for their education and upbringing to adolescence all on his own! He enrolled them at Rishi Valley in Andhra Pradesh for their education.
Real Hero Alert!
The model, actor, entrepreneur and social activist has been playing the role of a single father to his son Siddhant since his wife passed away in 2009 due to cancer. Losing your partner could never be easy for anyone and taking care of a grieving child even harder. However, Rahul stood by his son and helped him get through it and did a great job at bringing him up.
What we all acknowledged from these stories is that all children need is a loving, predictable father figure, it doesn’t matter if married to her mother or divorced. This Father’s Day, let’s celebrate single dads who make their children a priority!