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Happy Father's Day From 6 Feet Away

Just like Mother’s Day this year, we are still in the midst of a pandemic that makes holding a big celebratory gathering of family with our own aging fathers unwise to do.

Fathers dayAt the very least, hugs and kisses from grandkids and great-grandkids are likely to be sent by mail, email or some sort of virtual communication.

Dads of all ages, this might be a good year to reflect on where you learned your skills. Did you have a father, grandfather, uncle or neighbor who helped shape your opinions about healthy relationships? Did you learn everything you knew about being a dad from television? Are you fortunate enough to have a partner who has a great father? Do you have friends at work who mentor you and share their insights into good parenting and also their best dad jokes?

Being a father or father figure for a child likely means you are a teacher, a problem solver, a provider, a caregiver, a cook, an emergency medical technician and so much more. When you are the world to a child, you need to take care of yourself so you are around for the long haul.

If you are lucky, the job will last decades. Did the father figures you knew have yearly health screening for their mental and physical health? Did they model a spiritual life? Growing up, were you included in their day-to-day conversations? Did you learn skills or a vocation from them? Did they exercise, eat healthful meals and spend high-quality time with their partners and children? Did they balance work with family time?

Maybe you were fortunate enough to have a dad who took you on campouts, to work, to school, to city council meetings, to big family gatherings and to protests to teach you about justice and equity. And maybe that was not your situation.

If you didn’t have the father who taught you to love by loving you, how to treat others with understanding, how to take care of yourself by taking care of himself and all of the other important roles men provide in their children’s lives, you can anyway! So many resources are available in so many formats to help dads be who they want to be for their children of every age. Try some of these sites for videos, dad jokes, reading resources and blogs plus classes from your local North Dakota Parent and Family Resource Centers.

National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse

Zero to three years

Parents Lead

NDSU Extension Children, Parents and Families

Parent and Family Resource Centers in North Dakota


Kim Bushaw
Extension Family Science Specialist

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