Summer Greetings everyone. The official date of summer’s beginning is June 20 even though it feels like summer has already arrived with hot summer breezes, summer showers and beautiful evening dusks. Children savor the simple things of life! I wanted to extend a gentle reminder to all that June 21 is Father’s Day.

Young children love their dads or who they identify as their dad. Whether it be a grandfather, friend, guardian or godparent serving as their dad, the roles that dads play in a young child’s life are so important. Even the name “father” takes on many forms of addressing the man we call father. It could be “Dad,” “Pop,” “Papa,” “Gramps,” “Daddy” and the list goes on and on.

As a teacher, I deeply appreciate the roles that fathers have played in my classrooms over the years. My classroom dads have helped me with field trips, helped me in planning and doing a lot of the physical games, as well as jungle gyms or ball players, etc., in showing love to their children, grandchildren and other children. Young children love to be swung, hugged and loved by dads.

Father’s Day was created as a way to complement Mother’s Day in honoring our fathers. In the United States, the first modern Father’s Day was celebrated on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, at Williams Memorial Methodist Church. Another initiator of beginning Father’s Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd. She wanted to honor her dad, a Civil War veteran, William Jackson Smart, who was a single parent who raised his six children in Spokane, Washington. She was encouraged and inspired by Anna Jarvis’ efforts to establish Mother’s Day.

Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June every year. The very first June Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. The date of Father’s Day varies in different countries.
In our entertainment culture I can remember the TV dads. We all loved Sheriff Andy Taylor on the Andy Griffith Show as he took care of his son Opie. Also, we Baby Boomers remember Ward Cleaver, played by Hugh Beaumont, on “Leave it to Beaver.” We remember Jim Anderson, played by Robert Young, in “Father Knows Best.” “My Three Sons” father Steve Douglass, played by Fred MacMurray, was a favorite we tuned into every week. And we laughed and loved Fred Sanford, played by Redd Fox, in “Sanford and Son.”

Also, we celebrate fathers in songs such Cat Stevens’s “Father and Son” and Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.” I truly love the song “This Is My Father’s World,” beautifully written by Malthie D. Babcock and Franklin L. Sheppard in our hymnals, which shows how God made us a beautiful world so that we can be in fellowship with Him. What a privilege it is in a man’s life to be called Dad or to serve as a dad. Fathers are made to be participants in their children’s lives, and usually they are the ones who solve the problems, guide their families and provide and prepare their children in ways that only a father can do. I remember as a young child when our family would go on vacations, trips to visit family or long trips, that I could sleep soundly in the back seat because I knew my daddy knew where he was taking his family and I could trust him to get us where we needed to go. What our heavenly Father wants us to do is to trust Him as we go through these unusual times in our world.

Usually each year in summer preschool, we teachers guide our students to color pictures and make Father’s Day cards, key chains or other gifts. This year I wanted to share a “Survival Kit for Fathers” in the Classroom Observer. Families, get some bags to put the following items in, then on a card you can print what each items means. You can also come up with your own items. These are some ideas for you.

Eraser: remember no one is perfect and even dads can make mistakes.

Balloon: remind a dad to encourage his children as they reach for the sky!

Candle: to remind you that you will be the light of their child’s eye.

Rubber Band: to remind you that in this world, flexibility is the key.

Lifesaver: to gently remind you that you are a lifesaver to your child.

Tissue: to dry tears of your children when their feelings get hurt.

Paper Clip: to help you to hold it all together.

Pen and Paper: to write down your thoughts about your children to share with them later.

Lollipop: to lick all your problems.

Happy Face (sticker or drawn on a piece of paper): to remind us to keep on smiling.

Puzzle Piece: to remind you that you are such an important piece of your child’s life journey.

Hershey’s hugs and kisses: you deserve these all the time.
On a piece of paper write the words “I Love You” to remind you to say these three very important words to your child.

From the Classroom Observer, I hope and pray that you fathers have a wonderful Father’s Day.

 Beth Pinyerd