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Sunday Mornings with Rania: It’s Dad’s Day

Rania Mankarious
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Sunday Mornings with RaniaI am all about communicating feelings of appreciation or respect or love. If you know me personally, you’ve most likely quickly noticed. It follows then that a day like today – a day that celebrates our fathers and focuses on showering them with affection – is one that means so much. And based on the numbers, many agree.

The Numbers

  • The United States Census Bureau declared that there were 72.2 million fathers in the US in 2017. 
  • According to the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Father’s Day Spending Survey, 77.2 percent of poll participants said they are celebrating Father’s Day that year, a percentage that has shown to be consistent year after year. 
  • How do we celebrate? The Daily Meal indicated that we love sending cards. So much so that Father’s Day is the fourth most popular card-sending holiday in US (behind Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day) with an estimated 72 million cards sent.
  • And we spend! Roughly $12.7 billion will be spent on Father’s Day spending in the US with the average person spending $115.57 on a gift. 

Let’s not forget why we recognize this special day along 40 other countries globally (albeit on different days of the year). Psychologists agree that your relationship with the dad in your life can and will affect your:

  • Emotional development
  • Cognitive ability and educational achievement
  • Learning to nurture healthy relationships
  • Boosting self-esteem (especially in daughters)
  • Ability to cope with stress

I was blessed to be raised by a wonderful father. As an immigrant to the US in the mid ’70s, he immediately began working hard for our family. But beyond the work, he was ahead of his times when it came to the psychology of raising kids, especially girls. Through his vision, wit and wisdom, he magically managed to instill in my sister and me a deep sense of humble pride, respect for ourselves and others, kindness yet firmness and attributes that continually both allowed us to properly engage yet protected us from the word around us.

Even though I now live hundreds of miles away from him, as an adult with three kids of my own, I still call my dad daily, asking him for advice, his guidance and about everything else in between. He is my father, forever my dad, one of my best friends and someone I love more than I can articulate.  

I now watch my husband daily turn into a wonderful father. Whether navigating experiences like learning to ride a bike, playing sports, dealing with school work, life challenges, fears or expectations, he listens and offers guidance as best he can – but most importantly, with love.

But in thinking about the many families who will go out to eat and about the many phone calls that will be made, I also think about the many hearts who will be longing for a father that is no longer here or of those who are reminded of a father who never earned the word “dad.” While this is a day of celebration for many, it can be a day that evokes sadness for others. My sincerest hope is that where there is love, you express it; where there is a memory, you cherish it; where there is pain, you work through it; and where there is a chance for new beginnings, you grab hold of it. (Looking for a way to honor your deceased father today? Here are some suggestions.)

As for those fathers, young and old, excited by what the day will bring, this is a message of appreciation, love and respect filled with well wishes for a Happy Father’s Day!

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