Father’s Day is an occasion for honoring fathers and father figures, and thanking them for their role in children’s lives. Celebrations include giving gifts, cards, and arranging household parties.
It is also a day when fathers reflect on the roles and responsibilities that come with parenting. In this week’s address to the American people, the first dad, President Barack Obama, focused on Father’s Day.
“Being a father is sometimes my hardest but always my most rewarding job. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.—BO,” Obama said, sending his first official Tweet.
Growing up without a father, Obama reflected on how he tried to be a good dad to his children by giving them quality time, unconditional love, and fostering values of self-discipline and responsibility.
“And more important than the quantity of hours we spend with them is the quality of those hours. Maybe it’s just asking about their day, or talking a walk together, but the smallest moments can have the biggest impact,” he said.
In order to be more involved in his kids’ lives, Obama has taken on a role as assistant coach for his daughter Sasha’s basketball team.
“On Sundays, we’d get the team together to practice, and a couple of times, I’d help coach the games,” Obama said, noting that such experiences could someday help Sasha define herself as a parent.
“On Father’s Day, we celebrate the men who make a difference in the life of a child, and we pay tribute to all the fathers who have been our guiding lights. In the days ahead, we recommit ourselves to making fatherhood, and the support men need to be fathers, a priority in our nation,” Obama said.
Obama has also made fatherhood one of his administration’s priorities by giving speeches as president, carrying on from his earlier efforts as a presidential candidate.
“My administration has offered men who want to be good fathers a little extra support,” Obama said.
The administration’s efforts include a website named www.fatherhood.gov, dedicated to fatherhood. The initiatives include the Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative, a nationwide effort to support responsible fatherhood and reunite fathers missing from their children’s lives.
On June 15, the president kicked off the year of Strong Fathers, Strong Families as part of his Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative. It is an effort to provide better education to fathers so they can be more involved in their children’s lives.“We’re doing this because we all have a stake in forging stronger bonds between fathers and their children,” Obama said.