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Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Fathers lead, teach children by example

By By the Advocate Editorial Board
June 14, 2014 at 1:14 a.m.


What is a father? Biologically speaking, it's a man who has sired a child. That may be what it takes to become a father, but the role that comes with that title is so much more important.

Fathers are the men in our lives who choose to spend each and every day fulfilling one of the most important responsibilities in this world: raising up the next generation. And Father's Day is a time to celebrate and thank all of the men who have made that commitment.

Father's Day was inspired by Mother's Day, which has its roots in post-Civil War America, according to history.com. In 1910, the governor of Washington state declared July 19 as Father's Day. However, the holiday did not receive national recognition until 1972.

Fathers are some of our society's strongest assets. They lead by example, showing through their actions how a person should and shouldn't behave. Of course, every father is different. Some are quiet and serious while others are loud and jovial. Some exude a sense of strength and security, and others appear wild and rambunctious. But the most important thing is that they are there when their children need them.

Unfortunately, in today's world, families are not always whole, and some fathers are not in the picture. This deficit has left a hole in our society that is saddening to see. Multiple studies have indicated the need for a strong father figure in children's lives. Even the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a portion of its website dedicated to the importance of the father figure. The website quotes David Popenoe, a sociologist who researches fathers and fatherhood: "Fathers are far more than just 'second adults' in the home. Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring."

It is the importance of that role and the positive effect it has on children when fulfilled that makes fatherhood so special. Even men who have no natural children have the opportunity to be role models and father figures to children who may not have any other father in their lives. Whether it is through adoption, mentoring or just spending time with the kids in a neighborhood, every man has the ability to adopt the role of a father, and we are grateful to all of the men who made that choice.

On this Father's Day, we say thank you to all of the fathers in the Crossroads. Your leadership and love helped shape us into who we are today.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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