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Father’s Day (15 June) and Mothering Sunday

04 June 2008


From Mr Bob Greig
Sir, — If last year was anything to go by, many families across the UK will have every reason to dread Father’s Day (15 June) this year.

Primary schools and Sunday schools up and down the land will be doing very little to help children celebrate Father’s Day this year, whereas, for Mother’s Day (or should I still call it Mothering Sunday?), years of tradition were followed by teachers’ spending time with the children making cards and gifts for mums. But when it comes to Father’s Day — nothing? Why is this?

As founding director of www.onlydads.org — a support network for dads — I come across thousands of men who feel under pressure, under-valued, and whose parenting is all but ignored by society. How often do we see separated dads portrayed in the media as either scoundrels refusing to make child-support payments, or madmen scaling public buildings dressed up as Superman?

But the thousands of dads I come across are doing all they can to bring love and care to their children, often against the odds, and sometimes with very limited contact with which to bring their nurturing capabilities to their children. Those 250,000 dads in the UK who raise families on their own are all but ignored, and largely invisible.

In an increasingly diverse and fractured world, where more and more families seem to be splitting up, OnlyDads would like to suggest that we cancel Father’s Day and re-name Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday “Nurturing Day” — one day a year when mums and dads, grandparents and foster-carers, and all those uncles and aunts and friends who silently help nurture our children can be thanked, and their individual roles celebrated in a meaningful way.
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