In 2012, the UN General Assembly declared the first ever Global Day of Parents. Since then, it has been held annually on June 1 to honor parental units around the world. Being a parent is one of the most universal experiences, but it’s definitely not a walk in the park. For one, it has its challenges long before kids are even born. With many complications resulting from pregnancy, just having a healthy parent is something to be grateful for. And while many of us didn’t appreciate being nagged to clean our rooms, someone had to help us fight off the dust bunny invasion. Honestly, if we had never learned to handle tiny responsibilities like that, we’d have no hope of coping with the adult world. So let’s use this day to say thanks to our first teachers and nurturers. And if you happen to be a parent, give yourself a big pat on the back (seriously).
Why We Love Global Day of Parents
A. It reminds us to respect others
One of the first things we're taught as kids is to respect others, especially our elders (even though, for some reason, many parents don’t like being referred to as ‘elders’). But respect isn't only for those who are older than us. Regardless of age, it's something that has to be earned. Our parents have supported us through the ups and downs, all while dealing with their own personal issues (yea, parents actually have personal lives...weird). Needless to say, they're deserving of some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
B. It encourages fathers to take a more active role in parenting
Time and time again, research shows that children benefit from having fathers play an active role in their lives. It’s easy for dads to stay out of the spotlight and let moms take over parenting duty, but today’s a reminder that a little interaction can go a long way. Politics and business might not be best topics of conversations (assuming your kids can say those words to begin with), but everyone understands a smile and a game of catch.
C. It reinforces that supporting a household is a team game
Parenting is really a team game. Even if you are a single parent, it doesn't hurt to have some reinforcements. But to form the best team, we have to recognize that both men and women play an equal part. So whether the helping hands are spouses, friends, or relatives, everyone has to split time between being a breadwinner and caretaker. Diaper duty's a doozy, but if you get really good at rock, paper, scissors, you can avoid it most of the time (almost).
How to Celebrate Global Day of Parents
1. Read all about Global Day of Parents
You don't have to go far to learn more about this special day. Really, there's tons of good info on the UN's website, so technically, you don't have to leave your bed. Of course, we don't advise an all day siesta if you have little things like a job or children to worry about. But if browsing the internet isn't enough, consider dropping by your local library. Apparently, this parenting thing's a pretty big deal.
2. Exchange your thoughts on parenting with others
Want to hear stories about what happens when you leave a kid alone with a marker? We won't spoil the ending, but there's no better day to find out than this one. Aside from funny stories, you might also come across a few useful tips. In fact, some of the best insights come from your own parents. So when stop by, don't be afraid to ask for some secrets of the trade. If you're not ready for that yet, at least try to get some cookies or something out of the deal.
3. Watch a movie about parents and kids
It's a family day and that means it's time for a family movie. There are a wide array of films out there that feature parents and children. Whether it's sci-fi-, action or drama, there's one thing you can be sure of: there will be a heart-to-heart talk (not “the talk”) and it's going to give you a serious case of the feels. What's special here is that whatever forms it takes, a family is still a family. We think it's safe to say that the Lion King proved that a warthog and a meerkat can make excellent guardians.