In Australia, Father’s Day is observed on the first Sunday of September. It is a day to honour fathers, with appreciation expressed through gifts, words and time spent together as a family.
Dads. Our silent saviours. Often unseen in the background of birthday parties, blowing up balloons, getting extra ice, putting up Christmas decorations, climbing up ladders to change lightbulbs. Who knows how many of their own fears they’ve overcome while doing something for the family? What goes on in a Dad’s mind is usually not foregrounded as much as what a Dad does. So, this Father’s day, how can we better support our Dads?
Some things we can do as a community to honour and appreciate the Dads in our midst:
1. Promote local community groups and events that support fathers:
- Dad’s Groups https://www.dadsgroup.org/dadsgroupabout
- The Man With A Pram is a fundraiser for perinatal mental health programs and research. Parents, kids, grandparents and friends and perinatal health representatives join for a social walk to celebrate and support fathers and father figures.
- Fathers of Girls https://fathersofgirls.org/about-us; This non-profit has annual fundraisers raising money for local organisations which support girls. One of their events is the “Give for a Goal”; charity netball day (Downey Park, partnering with Netball Queensland): Fathers and daughters shoot goals, receive tips from professional netball players and raise money for charity through sponsorship.
2. Survey the fathers – which speakers and workshops would appeal to them? Organise for such a workshop/workshops to run so that fathers can be empowered and equipped.
- mr.dad: A once-off, free antenatal and early parenthood class for expectant fathers. Many participants report having the same fears and anxieties about preparing for the labour, birth and early parenting. It aims to provide information that is both male-friendly and male-orientated.
- DadStuff, a free 2-workshop program for dads, father-figures and families. It tackles being a dad, relationship with your partner and connecting with your children. https://supportforfathers.com.au/dadstuff/
- Programs for parents include The Triple P Positive Parenting Program and The Circle of Security parenting program.
3. Acknowledge the importance of fatherhood: in our conversations, our social media posts, our community centres, our churches, et cetera.
4. Host an event to celebrate the fathers amongst us: family games days, sausage sizzles, et cetera.
Father’s Day is one day to appreciate Dads. Let us also consider investing in fatherhood in ways that empower Dads for the long term.