Father’s Day 2012

This Father’s Day, the most important thing to me is to celebrate it with my children. As a father of two, I know the struggles that many families face in this tough economy and share in the hopes and desires for a better future for all our kids.
Almost all fathers share two big worries – Will our children be able to lead healthy and productive lives, and will we be there to witness and support their transformation into outstanding adults? We worry whether they will be able to grow up in safe neighborhoods with good schools, live in a clean environment, and prosper in a turbulent economy. We always want what is best for them, and we work hard to ensure that their futures are much brighter than our own.
The future holds many uncertainties, but today there is one thing we can be certain about – our children will have quality health care thanks to the health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act. The law enacts many benefits for children and their fathers (and mothers), and these benefits are all at stake if the Supreme Court decides to overturn the ACA this month.
Much has been said about what is now known as “Obamacare” – and much of it is simply not true. The conservative talking points that get many riled up – “government takeover of health care” or “death panels” – simply serve as a distraction from the truth of what the law has already accomplished.

Father's Day 2012
Father's Day.

From the loving, engaged portrayals of fathers featured in recent popular movies like “The Descendants,” “Moneyball” and “A Better Life” — all three performances were nominated for Academy Awards — one might conclude American dads are culturally valued.
Look again. The mothers in these films are comatose, divorced or dead. It’s no coincidence. From Atticus Finch to today, there’s an unspoken Hollywood rule that fathers can’t shine too brightly in the face of active mothering. Dads are more likely to be accorded respect when they are “coping”. In effect, when they are surrogate mothers.
Sadly, it is not only in Hollywood where fathers get the short end of the stick. The culture reflects a painful and pervasive social reality: For all we talk about the value of fathers, we have been devaluing and discarding them for decades.
We must first diagnose this cancer. Then we must systematically work to cure it.
Why do fathers matter so much? Because fatherhood makes men out of boys, for one thing. And because typically they offer children a just as necessary but different kind of love and guidance from what mothers bestow.
Mothers give their children unconditional love. It can be argued that children need their mother’s love more in infancy and very early childhood than they need their father’s.
But from the moment they step into the world beyond their doorstep, their need for a father or father figure grows exponentially. They need his protection and guidance in handling the complexities and competing demands of school, adult authorities and sometimes difficult peers. Fathers give boys a role model for manliness and girls respect for themselves. Fathers give children strategies for negotiating their way in the world. They set standards to be respected. Their love may even seem conditional on those standards being met. That’s a good thing.
Father absence is devastating for children. Exhaustive peer-reviewed research confirms that the absence of a father is the single most reliable predictor for a whole roster of negative outcomes – low self-esteem, parental alienation, high school dropout (71 % are fatherless), truancy, early sexual activity, promiscuity, teen pregnancy, gang membership, imprisonment (85 % of jailed youth are fatherless), drug abuse, homelessness (90 % of runaway children have an absent father), a 40 times higher risk of sexual abuse and 100 times higher risk of fatal abuse.


On Father’s Day on Sunday, Bollywood celebrities took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express their feelings.
Priyanka Chopra: “Happy Father’s Day dad. You have set such high standards that no one can ever match up. Thank you for being my best friend. Love being your little girl.”
Karan Johar: “Fathers can be confrontational but have always been inspirational. Happy father’s day to all.”
Sonam Kapoor: “My dad is my hero. Happy Father’s Day to the coolest and best father in the whole world.”
Ayushmann Khurrana: “Happy Vicky Donor’s day! Father’s Day.”
Genelia D’souza: “Happy Father’s Day to my dad who is my rockstar and the best. Hope you are making Father’s Day special too tweethearts.”
Dia Mirza: “Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers! You are your child’s hero.”
Maria Goretti: “To my daddy, your daddy and all the daddys. Thank you daddy for always making me feel like daddy’s special little girl. Happy Father’s Day.”
Pooja Bedi: “Happy Father’s Day to fathers, fathers-in-law and father figures.”

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