Fatherhood is a complicated job with no instruction manual, and most dads aren’t equipped with the tools to become the bright and shiny heroes we see on TV or read about in books.
But every child knows it’s not about being a superhero. It’s simply dad being there for us that’s most important.
The presence of a nurturing, supportive father has the power to influence our physical and emotional development and help us find our way in the world.
The positive presence of a dad means you’ll grow up less likely to drop out of school, abuse alcohol and drugs, experience teen pregnancy or run into trouble with the law.
That’s not to say that growing up without a picture-perfect dad dooms you to a life of disappointment. Far too many of us grow up with less-than-supportive dads, and we still manage to create successful lives for ourselves.
But no matter how successful we may become, a father’s absence, even partial absence, leaves a void that can be hard to fill.
Some of the greatest memories of my life are of fishing with my grandad and dad. Not only did we have some fun and catch some good fish, but I learned a lot about being a man and a lot about being a father. The time I got to spend with my dad fishing was great and probably one of the reasons I chose it as a career.
But over time, I realized it wasn’t so much about catching fish as catching up, sharing lives and listening.
As a dad to my two sons, I keep that in mind. As a professional angler, I encourage dads to take their kids fishing or try any activities that create quality time together.
As a board member of the S.C. Center for Fathers and Families, I’ve learned the vital link between father engagement and improving outcomes for children. The center’s statewide network of fatherhood programs is giving men the guidance they need to be responsible role models for their children, and that work is changing lives for families across our state.
This Father’s Day, as you give dad a card or gift, take a minute to realize the many gifts you have received from him.
Then, take another minute to visit the center’s website, Father365.com, to learn more about the many ways dads make a difference.
Board of Trustees, S.C. Center for Fathers and Families
Mr. Hite is a Bassmaster Classic champion and ESPN2 host. The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.