"Dear dad, today was the most beautiful day and I don’t want it to be over!" - is one of the dozens of messages left by children to their fathers on Father's Day, which is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.
On this occasion, the Swiss child protection foundation, Terre des Hommes (Tdh) Moldova, invited fathers with their children from 8 to 11 years old to play together under the generic "Dad, let's play!" (2nd edition). As a result, for two hours, 20 dads and over 30 children transformed the hall of the hosting library of the event, in a playground, full of energy and goodwill.
Plasticine cookies, statues of "three hands, five feet and two elbows", thrown at the target, crafts from colorful paper, group equilibristic with water-filled glasses - were some of the trials where fathers and their children proved mastery and ingenuity. The funniest, loudest and the most entertaining activity, however, was by far the bulging of the balloons until they broke. The games took place in teams, and the dads involved themselves with the same enthusiasm and as much as their children, wiping out any differences between them.
While older children were absorbed in the games with their fathers, the younger brothers and sisters who came to support them, showed their creative talent on the enormous drawing board, specially prepared for them.
Finally, the fathers who participated in the event had a surprise: the members of the Tdh Moldova team involved them in a social game, teaching them the rules of it. Afterwards, each of the participating fathers received such a game as a gift, with the idea to play it at home with their children and with the whole family, in general. As often as possible, of course!
At the end of the program, the big smiles on the faces of both children and their fathers were the qualifier for that day. The children admitted that they don’t really have the opportunity to play with their dads, as they are busy with their jobs, but they said they really enjoyed the day spent together and would like to play with their fathers more often. "Such programs are welcome, because nowadays, being caught up with the job, we do not have enough time for our children. We really enjoyed this day!”, said one of the participating fathers at the event.
The importance of the father in the life of the child
Using the occasion of the International Father's Day, Terre des hommes Moldova aimed, through this event, to provide a space for connection through playing for dads and their children and also to draw attention to the importance of actively engaging of fathers in raising and educating their children.
A child with both parents present and equally involved in raising and educating them will grow up an emotionally balanced child. Moms and dads have different approaches, and precisely these differences provide children with a balance, giving them varied and important experiences. The recent profile studies have shown that the presence of fathers has a special impact on children and comes with a number of benefits.
Thus, children who have a good relationship with their fathers and whose fathers actively participate in their lives are more independent and more confident; are more curious and are more willing to take certain risks; have more chances of success at school, have a higher cognitive development and greater ability to solve problems; have a more practical thinking, and, as adults, they are more preoccupied with their career and have a higher socio-economic status.
On the other hand, children with absent fathers or who are less involved in their lives are more insecure and distrustful; are sicklier; may have social adaptation problems, and are prone to develop anxiety and depression as teenagers or adults.
Benefits for fathers
A close relationship between a father and his children, however, has benefits not only for children but also for fathers. Thus, studies show that fathers who participate actively in the lives of their children have a lower level of stress, are hospitalized less, suffer fewer accidents, are less prone to addictions, and are generally healthier; are more satisfied with life, have a higher psychosocial maturity and are more responsible; are more sensitive to the problems of others; have a better professional yield and higher professional satisfaction and they declare themselves to be happier in marriage and generally more fulfilled.
In conclusion, in families where fathers are active participants in the family life, the benefits are reflected on all members, and relations between them are more balanced and more harmonious.
Photos from the event can be found here.