Year Round Festival Series 19 – Father’s Day – Don’t Expect a Perfect Father

Father’s Day is a day celebrated to honour fathers or elders who have a father figure. It is celebrated around the world on the third Sunday of June each year.

In 1908, Mother’s Day was established by Anna Jarvis as the second Sunday in May, and the founder of the day, Jarvis, stated that the word “Mother” in “Mother’s Day” should be a singular word, as it was created in memory of each family’s own mother, rather than in memory of all the mothers in the world.

Father’s Day was founded in 1910 by Mrs Sonora Smart Dodd in Washington DC, USA. In 1909, Mrs Dodd was reminded of her father after attending a church service on Mother’s Day. Her father was a retired veteran and her mother had died in childbirth of her sixth child. Her father never married again and chose to raise his six children. Mrs Dodd was so grateful for her father that she proposed Father’s Day to the church leaders. She received the support of the church and after much effort to persuade the government, it was finally decided that Mother’s Day would be celebrated on the third Sunday of June, which was also the month of Mrs Dodd’s father’s birthday.

According to psychologists, fathers and mothers are equally important in raising children, as they have different personalities and children learn different knowledge and abilities from them, as well as feeling more fully loved.

Firstly, in language learning, children learn different vocabulary, tone of voice and attitude from their parents. Fathers, unlike mothers, are able to engage in more intense and adventurous activities with their children. This fosters a more adventurous and courageous personality in children than the more quiet activities of their mothers, who are their daily caregivers. The release of the child’s energy after the emotional ups and downs of playing with the father helps to stabilise the child’s emotions.

In an article by BBC columnist Sophie Hardach, ‘The secret of being a good father’, it is written:

“And emotional involvement matters. Babies with emotionally engaged dads show better mental development as toddlers and are less likely to have behavioural problems later on, compared to babies whose dads behave in a more detached way. Older children benefit, too. Those whose fathers, or father figures, are more emotionally supportive, tend to be more satisfied with life and have better relationships with teachers and other children.” (1)


Fathers can also teach children to distinguish between right and wrong, to protect others and to uphold a righteous character because of their natural masculinity. As a great figure of competence, fathers also help children to develop self-confidence. For boys, they can learn to be masculine and responsible from their fathers, and for girls, having a father as a good standard for choosing a future spouse can have a significant impact on a girl’s development.

Father is the respectful name that children give to their fathers, and it is also an honourable status for men. There is no such thing as a perfect father, and it would be harsh to demand perfection from our father. To ask him to be an omnipotent man. If we look at ourselves, we also have many flaws and weaknesses.

Do you like your father? No matter what, he was given to us by God. He gives you all that he has, but he cannot give you what he does not have. For example, if a father does not have a perfect father himself, and if he does not receive love from his own father, the father will have difficulties in expressing his love and care.

Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (Ephesians 6:2) Our first blessing in honouring our parents is to live a long life on earth. With 6 billion copies in print, the Bible is the most widely read book in history and is deeply wise. Hong Kong society often equates filial piety with the provision of money and material goods. Honour not a monetary thing, but an attitude, a companionship. Honour is about seeing the other person as a treasure. Our elderly parents are the treasures of our lives.

Footnote 1:


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Elva Lai is a passionate and determined artist. She loves reading, learning, travelling, hiking and drinking coffee in the morning. Elva received her education in Hong Kong, USA and Germany.

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Authorised reposting, the post only represents the author’s opinion.

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