This Sunday is Father’s Day. While in Hispanic nations the celebration is more associated with the feast of St. Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, in the United States it originated at the YMCA in 1910 and is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.

It is evident that the figure of the father has become very blurred in modern times, and that many households do not have someone to celebrate on this day due to the great increase in single-parent families, in which the present parent is almost always the mother.

Various studies and statistics show the enormous damage children, especially boys, suffer when they do not have a male role model at home. The figures show that up to 85% of young people in prisons grew up in fatherless homes; the same applies to 81% of dropouts, 75% of kids in addiction treatment, 72% of those who have committed murder, and 80% of those who have committed rape.

But the absence of a father is also noticeable in the emotional voids often carried by those who have managed to live their lives away from the traps of addiction, crime, or promiscuous sex. Many do not know how to relate, approach or practically be better fathers.

The association “Fathers” highlights four skills of a good father. One is involvement; that is, knowing how to spend time with children, playing, doing homework or doing household chores. Two, consistency; that is, being stable in their treatment of children, not being a loving father today and a punishing ogre tomorrow. Three, awareness; that is, knowing their children’s world, their friends, interests, motivations and dreams. And four, presence; knowing how to show affection, tenderness, and physical closeness, which is sometimes very difficult for Latino fathers.

A greeting and tribute to all those fathers who strive to be very present in the lives of their sons and daughters, and a word of encouragement to those who want to make up for lost time with them, especially those who suffer from their absence.


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