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In Virtue/Vice, Dr. Christine B. Whelan blogs about news, books, scientific and psychological research and her general musings about virtue and vice in our everyday lives.


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June 19th, 2010

Happy 100th Birthday, Father’s Day


VV-fathersday100-flashMan-bashing has become a sport.  And in recent weeks, one study even questioned whether fathers are necessary for raising kids at all.  So perhaps it’s no surprise that fewer people think celebrating Father’s Day is as important as celebrating Mother’s Day, according to a Rasmussen poll.

June 20, 2010 is the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day. Let’s take a moment to celebrate fathers — and men who act with self-control and responsibility generally.

  • There are nearly 70 million fathers in the U.S., and more than 30 million have kids under the age of 18, according to the U.S. Census.
  • Mr. Mom is a reality for a quarter of all families with young children: Some 24 percent of the nation’s 11.2 million preschool-age children with a working mom are regularly cared for by dad during mom’s working hours, according to the Census. An estimated 158,000 men are stay-at-home dads whose wives support the family financially.
  • Dads are spending more time with their kids (although still not as much as Mom):Fathers with children aged 3 to 5 in the home read to them 6 times a week on average, compared to almost 7 times per week for mothers. Seventy percent of fathers have dinner with their child every night during a typical week. And fathers have more than tripled the time they spend in child care since the 1960s, according to the Council on Contemporary Families Father’s Day release.
  • President Obama, speak out again! In a HuffingtonPost.com blog, Joy Moses argues that the best way to celebrate father’s day is to honor dads with legislation that supports his role in family life. (Remember Obama’s Father’s Day speech in 2008? I would love to see him step out on this issue once more.)
  • Moms and Dads, try to strengthen your own relationship: Among heterosexual families, the single most important predictor of whether fathers are actively involved with their children is the quality of the father’s relationship with the mother, according to the Council on Contemporary Families. This is true whether the parents are married, living together, separated, divorced, or never married.
  • Dads–want some tips for how to be a better father? Live your values, and raise your kids with a strong sense of purpose. Geoffrey Greif offers more tips on PsychologyToday.com

And for all you kids out there, forward this to your Dad and say thanks — he’ll like that better than a tie.

The Author : Christine B. Whelan
Dr. Christine B. Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She and her husband, Peter, and their dictator cats, Chairman Meow and Evita Purron, live in Pittsburgh. Her book "Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women" is available in stores or at the Halo Store.
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  • Tom Gibbons

    This is a great reminder – thanks especially for the link to the Obama speech about fatherhood… a great challenge to us all.

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