Fathers need to be celebrated in June

Summer is on the horizon!

The official day is June 21, but we also have a couple other occasions this month. Flag Day is June 14, and Father’s Day is June 16.

The kids are out of school and families are planning activities and vacations during this summer break.

This month we celebrate fathers everywhere, all 67,800,000 dads in the United States.

Just a few other “Father’s Day” stats you may find interesting as well: six in 10 Americans buy a Father’s Day card. The average amount spent on a gift is $90.89. Seventy-six percent of Americans plan to celebrate Father’s Day.

Today’s fathers spend double the amount of time they spent with their kids in 1989, and almost triple the amount of time with their kids as fathers did back in 1965. And here is an odd tidbit I found while working on this column — the youngest dad was a British boy of 11 years old when he impregnated his 15-year-old next door neighbor. The baby boy was born one month after the father’s 12th birthday in 1998. (This was taken from Daily Mail).

The oldest first-time father, Ramit Raghav, was 94 when his baby boy was born to him and his then 52-year-old wife in October 2010 in Haryana, India.

I found a book titled ‘NFL Dads dedicated to Daughters’ by the NFL Players Association (keep in mind Copyright 2010). Many players were interviewed for this book addressing the topic of domestic violence. I might use some of this information in a later column on the subject.

However, a couple interviews I found to be very interesting, and I would like to share — in honor of Father’s Day.

Jerome Bettis, a former player for the Steelers and the Rams, voiced, “I look forward to the day where all men take fatherhood seriously. Our daughters and sons need to witness appropriate male/female interaction regularly. Advisedly, talking and lecturing needs to be accompanied by consistent examples in their lives. I teach my daughter the value of respect and honor by how I treat her every day.

“I pray that she, and other young women, learn to understand that solid moral character and consistency makes a man- — not material items or words without action. Similarly, my hope for our young men is that they learn how to handle their emotions appropriately and respect every woman in their life. Our kids should be learning these lessons from their own fathers first, but also from other men in the community. As men, we need to raise the bar.”

La’Roi Glover, a former player for the Raiders, Saints, Cowboys and Rams said, “Hopefully my daughters will choose a man that will have some of the same qualities that I have tried to impress upon them. As a father, I try to display a man that is responsible, pays his bills, provides for his family, shows love and support, and can be a disciplinarian without using hurtful language.

“As a father you have to remember that girls can be more sensitive than boys. It’s just a different dynamic. I have learned this from my relationship with my daughters — I try to be more selective in the words I use and the context in which I use them. My daughters will always know that I love them from the way that I speak to them. My words and affection come from a place of love in my heart.”

Another player, Chris Kelsay, a defensive end for the Buffalo Bills, wrote this: “Men are taught not to get into other people’s business, but the statistics prove that we need to. Part of my responsibility as a Christian is to allow my life to be an example for my daughters and others around me, whether that’s in the locker room or anywhere else.

“I hope I inspire other men to be better. Leaders have to challenge the message on TV and music lyrics that use demeaning language to talk about women. Every woman is someone’s mother, daughter, sister, wife or girlfriend, and should be treated and talked about with respect. I try to spend time with my daughters every day to show how much I care about them. I recognize that I will be the first real man in their lives. My role is very important.”

Perhaps you’ve heard this quote from Paul Tsongas, who was an American politician representing Massachusetts in both houses of the U.S. Congress, from 1975 to 1985. He said, “No one on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.'”

So, to fathers everywhere, I would like to say thank you.

You may not get the accolades of praise and loving compliments as you should, so please take this special day, do something special and make memories to last a lifetime. We appreciate all of your hard work.

Remember that your little ones are always watching and learning from you, without exchanging a word.

As Gary Smalley (counselor and author) once said, “Often the deepest relationships can be developed during the simplest activities.”