By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
This Friday is a first-time celebration of super dads within the community, the county and abroad.
Sunday is Father’s Day across the country but Barons-Eureka-Warner Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is inviting families to a free family barbecue at 6 p.m. at the Coaldale Hub to celebrate the importance of fathers. There will also be fun activities for children and families.
Fathers, according to FCSS, play an important part in the lives of children. Research shows children do better emotionally, socially, and academically when fathers are involved in their lives. Overall, the role of fathers is as important as the role of mothers in the psychological well being of children, according to FCSS.
“Our emphasis is to support the family and a lot of times we sometimes get caught up and not really pay much attention to fathers. This is somewhat timely because we’re looking at working that with the focus of Father’s Day that weekend. We thought we would create an initiative to pay more attention to the value fathers have in families,” said Barons-Eureka-Warner FCSS Manager Milton Iwaasa.
Father Celebrations are also planned for Taber, Vauxhall, Raymond and Stirling on different dates.
It’s not just Father’s Day the community should be paying attention to fathers, Iwaasa noted, because they’re valued throughout the year and throughout life.
“I think we will also look at having some continuous reminders throughout the year about what value fathers have in families,” he said.
FCSS, Iwaasa added, has done something similar to the barbecue about five years ago in Taber.
“We’re involved with so many activities we’ve never really had one that focused primarily on fathers. A barbecue is one way to draw out fathers. If we had a workshop and we were presenting information about and the importance of fathers — we’re not likely to get out fathers. It’s another backdoor approach to bring fathers out and for us to be able to provide information and activities that will strengthen their relationship with children and families,” Iwaasa said.
Right now, FCSS offers programs that provide information of how fathers can interact with their children including ways to help brain development in kids and help for fathers to attach more with their children.
“It’s not always just about play.”
More and more of the activities FCSS will be planning in the future for fathers will be “how to” programs.
“It’s not just about giving them information, it’s more of hands-on activities with their children and how they can engage the interaction between children and fathers,” he said.
Unfortunately, getting fathers engaged at this level is a slow process, Iwaasa noted.
“I think gradually more and more fathers are getting involved. We see more of the fathers participate in some of our activities at the Parent Link Centre, which is The Hub. That is encouraging and we hope to see more of that,” he added.
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