A Different Father’s Day This 2021

Last year, Father’s Day happened right in the midst of the global pandemic and quarantine restrictions. Many who might have traveled to see their dads wisely kept their distance. Unfortunately, many people lost their fathers to COVID-19 in 2020. I cannot even imagine how heartbreaking that must have been for families that didn’t get a chance to see or give their dads a final hug. This year things are a little different. As restrictions are starting to loosen up with vaccinations, people are able to travel and visit loved ones. This Father’s Day comes with a sense of increased gratitude and appreciation for life, especially for the fathers who are still with us.

Father’s Day is a time to honor our dear fathers and the paternal bond that is important to family units and societal structures. The role of fathers in the family has evolved from the idea of the father as the sole breadwinner / provider / protector to a more holistic recognition that they are equal co-parents. The time of COVID-19 even made this more apparent. Take time to appreciate the fathers all around you this Father’s Day.

Society doesn’t offer manuals on how to be a great dad or avoid being a bad one. Like many parents and guardians, fathers have to figure out many things on their own as well. As they do so, they encounter challenges along the way, such as dealing with toxic masculinity. I have written an interesting piece about toxic masculinity (Let’s Commit To Ending The Culture Of Toxic Masculinity) where I discuss this behavior around fathers and men, in our society, its negative health and psychosocial impact, and how we can all take steps to avoid perpetrating actions and stereotypes that cultivate this negativity. Fathers can have both positive and negative impacts on their children and those around them, so I hope that each dad will commit to doing the best they can to be a positive role model.

If you haven’t seen your dad since the early days of the pandemic, I hope you have an opportunity to do so this year. If your father is no longer alive, I hope you can think of the lessons learned from him while alive, knowing that he probably tried to do the best he could with what he had. For those still alive and with us, serving in their roles as fathers or in other paternal influential roles, let’s all remember to recognize and wish them all a Happy Father’s Day!