In anticipation of Father's Day (or is it Fathers' Day?)

Over the weekend, my husband and I observed various fathers' behavior. On Shabbos, we walked to a park in the area. As we were leaving, we saw a father with two young boys coming. We both had the same reaction: At first we were impressed that the father was taking his children to the park, but then we saw that he was merely dropping them off to be attended by the babysitter who was already there. But we were really impressed by the frum father (who actually lives in the 5 Towns) we saw on Sunday with his son and daughter at the production of The Importance of Being Earnest. The children (who appear to be jhs and hs age) said that their father does this sort of thing regularly. A third father . . .well, I won't go into that one. Enough said about contrast. As for father-kid outings in my family, though we did not take our children to this play, they have been exposed to theatre, as well as theatre in the park, not to mention countless museums, etc. And on Monday we took them to White Post Farms, where they had a great time.


SephardiLady said…
Somehow the sight of babysitters in the park on Shabbat never ceases to amaze me.

While seeing babysitters in the park on Shabbat or Yom Tov is not something we regularly see in these parts, I have regularly witnessed fathers who impatiently rush their kids off to groups, pushing them up the stairs even though the kids seem less than willing. One particular father gets his kids up to groups and gets very upset at them (threatening punishment no less) when they won't stay the whole time and one of the leaders or adult volunteers has to go find the father. I'd have more sympathy if he were davening, but he is just shoozing at kiddush since he attends an earlier minyan. In the last incident he tried to bring back one of the kids, and when he opened the door to put her back, the younger one came out and he couldn't push both of them back in and just started yelling at them. Talk about an uncomfortable moment to witness.

Anyways, enough doom and gloom. There are a lot of fathers out there who are involved and a lot more that could be trained, especially if they understood their important role in their children's development and where given the support to develop as fathers. Unfortunately, we live in an age where it is easier to "outsource" chinuch and where we don't care to get our hands dirty in the job.

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