WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Father's Day brings a flood of memories ranging from barbecues to steak dinners, new ties to new tool sets, and Hallmark cards to homemade cards. With so many assumptions and stereotypes surrounding Father's Day, it is easy to lose touch with what the holiday is really about - honoring fathers for their contributions to the lives of their children.
Three men remind us why Father's Day is an important holiday and why we honor our fathers.
Gone But Not Forgotten: Dad's Legacy Lives On In "Fathers To Daughters" Class
Father's Day is often difficult to celebrate after one's father has passed away and the responsibility of filling his shoes can be daunting. But this is exactly what Mike Bevan, 21, did when his father died unexpectedly last year. He quickly assumed the leadership role in his family, assisting his mother with everything from handling insurance policies to winterizing the lawn equipment.
Helping his sister proved more challenging. Bevan, who was a senior at Wake Forest University at the time, enrolled in a course called "Fathers and Daughters," the only known college class in the country devoted exclusively to dad-daughter relationships, to learn how to help his sister cope with their loss.
"I'm the next male role model in her life," said Bevan, an ROTC student following in his father's military footsteps by commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the Army. "I'm thankful that he taught me how to solve problems and become financially independent. I want to help my sister with that as best I can."
Bevan's selfless dedication to helping his family cope with his father's death is perhaps the ultimate honor of his dad's legacy.
More Than Words: A Father's Quest To Give His Son The Gift Of Speech
Victor Pauca is a happy, social six-year-old with Pitt Hopkins Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that has delayed his development and speech, but not his spirit. His father, Paul Pauca, an associate professor of computer science and a team of students at Wake Forest created "Verbal Victor," an iPhone/iPad app, to provide an affordable alternative to expensive communication devices.
Since its debut, Verbal Victor has been downloaded 3,000 times and has enabled children to communicate in a way that was not affordable before. Pauca has received positive feedback from grateful parents across the globe.
"I have received emails from Korea, India, Switzerland and other countries," he said. "Hearing from so many people has created a huge desire to make this kind of application a big aspect of my research. It has become a calling. Because of my son, I have found my mission to help give a voice to those without one."
Pauca's success with Verbal Victor has fueled new research, which will undoubtedly make life better for children with disabilities. His determination to help his son demonstrates the power of human spirit and what great lengths a father will go to in order to change the life of not only his son but those of countless others.
The Gift Of Time, Anytime
Instead of racking your brain over the perfect gift to get dad this Father's Day, maybe the best gift you could give is your time. Andrew Smiler, author of Challenging Casanova: Beyond the stereotype of promiscuous young male sexuality and a visiting assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest who studies men and masculinity, has found that more than anything, men increasingly want to establish close relationships with their children.
"Since the 1970s, we've been raising our kids with the idea that women can do anything, including having any career they want," Smiler says. Over the last ten years, we've gotten used to seeing women as CEOs, secretary of state, and even heads of state. According to Smiler, that shift has influenced men and their ideas about fatherhood.
"Many men have begun to express a desire for greater connection to their fathers and, in turn, have sought to 'do' fatherhood differently for their kids," he says. "They don't want to be that emotionally distant dad whose conversations only last for three minutes."
So before you buy that $50 necktie, consider taking dad for a day out on the boat or challenging him to a pick-up game of basketball ... but only if they are activities he enjoys. Sometimes doing and sharing in the little things in life mean the most to Dad.
About Wake Forest University:
Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University's graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at www.wfu.edu.
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Katie Neal, [email protected], 336-758-6141
SOURCE Wake Forest University