National Son and Daughter Day is celebrated annually on August 11. This love-centric family holiday (which we’re sure has gained the approval of both Gloria Steinem and Smokey Robinson, as you’ll see) reminds us to take a step back from the whirlwind of paying the bills, surviving the maelstrom of current events, and meeting what seem to be thousands of daily obligations, and spend time with our children.
National Son and Daughter Day is a time to go ahead and spoil the kids a little. Be a grandparent ahead of time for a day, and remind the kids that through all the ascents and descents of mayhem and joy, and however they’ve turned out so far, they’re the greatest loves of your life.
History of National Son and Daughter Day
The population at large may already be familiar with similar holidays like Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, and Father — Daughter Day, the former instituted in part by the Ms. Foundation for Women and its founder, journalist Gloria Steinem, and the latter the result of an effort on musician Smokey Robinson’s part to stay close to his six daughters no matter what.
But National Son and Daughter Day traces its origins a little farther back in time than either of these, if popular wisdom is to be trusted. All the way back to 1930s Missouri, where a gentleman of the town of St. Joseph took up a young boy’s cause when the boy complained that his mom and dad each had a “Day,” so why shouldn’t he? The man was convinced and gradually the idea caught on, its popularity ebbing and flowing over the years, until the 1970s.
That brought another big jump: a Florida House member allegedly put in a request to the U.S. Congress to officially recognize National Son and Daughter Day. The Representative, Claude Pepper even had in mind to specially recognize George Paul, a hero of Pepper’s from the old Texas rodeo circuit, by attaching Paul’s name to the holiday, should it become official.
Or is that just a bunch of “bull”? Our researchers are unable to pinpoint the exact Congressional record containing the request, but we will tell you what we know for sure: many, if not most Americans today are scrimping, tightening belts, and pinching pennies, which makes it hard to splurge on fun days and treats for the kids, even on birthdays and Christmas. An extra day is just what Americans of all generations could use.
So to be honest, we’re glad it’s not called George Paul Day, and we’re certainly glad that Son and Daughter Day gives us a strong reminder to celebrate our kids every August 11.
National Son and Daughter Day timeline
Girls Are as Important as Boys Are
Paralleling National Son and Daughter Day with his hard-earned wisdom that, “… all parental relationships are important to the healthy development of children,” but emphasizing the father-daughter bond, Smokey Robinson nationally publicizes Father — Daughter Day.
Answering the Question, “Why College?”
Working parents began to observe the new Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, with participants numbering in the millions upon millions.
Dusenberry Does It
Reputedly, although as noted above, research sources are lacking, St. Joseph, Missouri resident J. Henry Dusenberry got the wheels turning for sons and daughters in St. Joseph, MO.
We’re sure that it was soon after the first official Father’s Day and Mother’s Day (1910 and 1914, respectively) that boys and girls got an idea of their own…
National Son and Daughter Day FAQs
What are appropriate gifts to give on National Son and Daughter Day?
When it comes to material goods, anything from a greeting card to a brand-new car is fine if it’s within your family’s budget, but we maintain that the true feeling of the day is expressed best by sharing family space, time and loving attention, and putting effort into showing we care.
Do restaurants, retail outlets and theme parks offer National Son and Daughter Day discounts?
We have it on good authority that adoption of such policies is on the agenda at several of the national chains, and when one domino falls, the rest follow, but to be safe, call ahead to your favorite spot and speak with management.
Is my child too old to be “coddled” in this way?
No two families are alike, but it’s in the spirit of National Son and Daughter Day to include everyone in your “brood” who’s in the generation following yours, because even a grown adult can’t be hurt by a reminder that their mom and dad care.
National Son and Daughter Day Activities
Take the day off
Depending on your particular workload, you might feel like you work more than you get to spend time with your family. To celebrate National Son and Daughter Day, try using up some of that paid time off or even take a sick day so you can do something fun with the kids. This is a day for quality time.
Make a special treat
It doesn't have to be a sugary snack or a messy project, either. You know what your children love to eat and chances are there's even a favorite food that you can make together at home. Some fun and relatively healthy make-at-home snacks include tacos, peanut butter crackers or veggies and ranch dip. You could even go all-out with your kids and teach them to make a favorite dinner or opt for a treat with less cleanup and let the kids pick a restaurant for a special night out.
Spend time with your children
Whether your children are youngsters at home or adults on their own, Son and Daughter Day is a great reminder to make time in your life to stay connected. Take your children out to a movie, meet up for a stroll through the park or sit down around the dinner table and really listen to what they have to say. Sometimes the best way to say "I love you" is by being available and letting the youngsters take the lead. Whatever your children like to do, you can rock this holiday by showing up with your natural excitement for their successes.
5 MIND-BLOWING FACTS ABOUT PERCEPTIONS OF DAUGHTERS
Infant daughters have been considered a disadvantage
Overpopulated countries like India and China have had a culture of bias against having baby girls, who are seen to be less able to provide for the family as they grow into the workforce.
Discrimination against American women is recent
The suffragist-vs-anti-suffragist “War of the Roses” in Tennessee, the final battlefield state to grant women the right to vote, happened only 100 years ago, in 1920.
Increasingly many fathers fiercely support their daughters
From songs like Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl” to American Greetings’ new line of father-and-daughter-related ecards, pop culture is acknowledging the strengthening of bonds between dads and their girls.
The idea “strong female protagonist” has blossomed
Look at the smashing success of the “Little Women” remake, the all-female-lead retooling of the “Ghostbusters” film, and the general watchfulness of mass media awards societies to make sure demographics are balanced, and you’ll see a steady increase towards true appreciation.
Girls came first with kids at work
The movement to show youngsters what work was like, why it was necessary, and its connection with family, began in the early 90s with Take Your Daughters To Work Day, only adding sons in 2003.
Why We Love National Son and Daughter Day
We just can't help it
Humans are social creatures and we’re all genetically programmed to bond with others. Children, from their first breaths to their first steps and words, form deep bonds with parents and caretakers, just like we connect with our children from the moment they're born. So, for all the difficulties they may put us through, we can't help loving our kids — it's science!
It balances out other family holidays
There's Mother's Day, Father's Day, and even Grandparent's Day. Isn't it only fair that we have a Son and Daughter Day, too? After your kids go above and beyond on a Mother's Day gift that brought you to tears (or a Father's Day gift that wasn't just another power tie), they deserve a bit of socially-sanctioned celebration themselves. Beyond the lesson this teaches about fairness and equality, kids can start to see how the yearly cycles of family holidays nurture relationships by giving and receiving appreciation in equal measure.holidays nurture relationships by giving and receiving appreciation in equal measure.
This holiday is unique and special
There are lots of opportunities to dote on your kids, but National Son and Daughter Day is one-of-a-kind. An individual holiday like a child's birthday is only special for one child and communal holidays like Christmas or summer vacation don't really focus on anybody in particular. But National Son and Daughter Day is not just a day for gifts and toys but a time to let your children know through words and deeds how much you really love them.