It seems that our American society has relegated fathers to second-class parental status. It seems like fathers are no longer considered a valuable member of the family these days.
And with the continued increase in the number of divorced-mother households, that second-class status will likely continue to grow.
But this weekend we have an opportunity to honor and reflect on the contributions fathers have made in our lives.
More than 100 years ago, the first Father’s Day celebration took place as a way to reflect on the importance a father plays. That message often seems lost.
Study after study shows fathers provide the logical approach to life’s lessons, serve as household disciplinarians and balance a child’s perception of adult and appropriate relationships and lifestyles.
Fathers teach their sons to grow up, as only a former boy could. They teach them a work ethic, and to be responsible.
Fathers teach their daughters the meaning of honor and respect, not only for others, but also for themselves. Let’s face it, nobody puts a little girl on a pedestal like her Daddy.
Dad’s equal presence in a child’s life has implications on society as well as the child.
Countless studies show children growing up without their biological dad are more likely to live in poverty as children and adults, have emotional and behavioral problems, commit crimes, use drugs and alcohol, struggle academically, drop out of school, be obese and commit suicide. Girls growing up without their biological fathers are more likely to become pregnant while still a teenager and out of wedlock.
This Sunday is Father’s Day, a day set aside to reflect on the importance of fathers and the effects of fatherlessness. North-Central Washington has myriad ways to celebrate with Dad, without getting into the politics of the fatherlessness.
If you are still trying to figure out how to celebrate Fathers Day, here are a few ideas:
• The Tonasket Father’s Day Fly-In takes place Saturday and Sunday. There will be a steak barbecue from 5-8 p.m. Saturday night and a pancake breakfast from 7-11 a.m. Sunday. Several pilots fly in from other communities to participate. Locals can take a look at the aircraft.
Children ages 5-15 can also take a free flight, as well as participate in other activities.
• Take in a car show — there are at least two going on in our area this Saturday.
The Best Rod Run by a Dam Site is slated for North Dam Park in Grand Coulee. The show opens at 8 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m.
The North Country Car Club will host its annual car show from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Comanchero Rodeo Grounds.
In either show, you and Dad can enter your own classic cars or admire those others have restored.
• Maybe your Dad is more the artistic type. Then artist Barbara Conner-Reed has something for you and him on Sunday at the Community Cultural Center in Tonasket.
The Artist Paint-In runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. And the event has everything you’ll need to help Dad find his inner artist.
• The annual Art in the Park and Paint the Town events take place in Omak’s Civic League Park Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
An auction is planned for 4:30 p.m. and a 3-on-3 basketball tournament will run for several hours beginning in the morning.
• Fathers with young children may particularly like Koulee Kids Fest, with runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Most events are in Electric City. There will be a fish talk, chalk art, disc golf and more.
• The Wauconda community will host its 100th Flag Day celebration beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Community Hall, 29 Toroda Creek Road. There will be a potluck and music, as well as an afternoon dance.
• If your Dad is a history buff, take him to Fort Okanogan Interpretive Center. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, a program on the fur trade is planned.
• This is free fishing weekend, a weekend the state Department of Fish and Wildlife sets aside for children and parents to enjoy the great outdoors together without the added expense of buying adult fishing licenses.
The Methow Kids Free Fishing Day will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Winthrop National Fish Hatchery, 453A Twin Lakes Road.
• Prospectors’ Days take place in Republic on Saturday. Hit downtown for a parade, food and fun early in the day. Then take in an evening of racing at Eagle Track Raceway.
Fathers play a very important part in our lives and communities. Take this weekend to show your appreciation, and have fun at the same time.
Happy Father’s Day.
Roger Harnack is the editor and publisher of The Chronicle. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.