Men’s health im­por­tant this fa­ther’s day

The China Post - - LIFE -

Dear Read­ers: Happy Fa­ther’s Day to all of the men in our read­ing au­di­ence who have had the plea­sures and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of rais­ing chil­dren. This in­cludes fathers, step­fa­thers, grand­fa­thers and those who have stepped in as fa­ther fig­ures for chil­dren who need them. Bless you all. Hav­ing a car­ing fa­ther is not only one of life’s great joys, but fathers also are tremen­dously im­por­tant to a child’s emo­tional, aca­demic and moral de­vel­op­ment. Stud­ies have shown that chil­dren who main­tain close re­la­tion­ships with lov­ing fathers do bet­ter in school and are more likely to stay off drugs. Please take the time to­day to let yours know you are think­ing of them.

DEAR AN­NIE: Please urge your read­ers, both male and fe­male, to pay more at­ten­tion to men’s health. Women’s health gets a great deal of at­ten­tion all year, but men’s health is rarely pro­moted.

Men’s life ex­pectancy still lags al­most six years be­hind women’s. Many women are neg­a­tively af­fected by men’s poor health and early deaths. Women should urge the men in their lives to get an­nual phys­i­cal check­ups at the doc­tor’s of­fice, eat bet­ter and get more ex­er­cise. And men should lis­ten to that good ad­vice.

I am a man who cares about my health and men’s health in gen­eral. Please help, An­nie. Thanks. — A Men’s Health Ad­vo­cate in Texas

Dear Texas: Your let­ter is the per­fect re­minder on Fa­ther’s Day for all men to make an ap­point­ment for a full med­i­cal checkup. Sched­ule that prostate exam or colonoscopy you’ve been putting off. Get a gym mem­ber­ship and use it, play bas­ket­ball with some friends, or take a 30-minute walk each day. Pay at­ten­tion to what you eat. The women in your lives want you to be around for a long time.

DEAR AN­NIE: I am re­spond­ing to “Evil Step­mother,” whose hus­band didn’t want to at­tend his daugh­ter’s wed­ding be­cause he wasn’t go­ing to walk her down the aisle. We had the same sit­u­a­tion.

My step­daugh­ter called her fa­ther to tell him that her ma­ter­nal grand­fa­ther was go­ing to give her away. For three weeks, my hus­band strug­gled with whether or not to at­tend and fi­nally de­cided to not go be­cause it would have been too painful for him. I would have sup­ported ei­ther de­ci­sion. But three years later, his daugh­ter humbly came to visit and ex­plain that her mother had pushed her to do this and begged her fa­ther’s for­give­ness.

When my daugh­ter mar­ried, she faced this same choice. What she de­cided, all on her own, brought tears to our eyes. Both her fa­ther and her step­fa­ther walked her down the aisle, one on each arm. It was beau­ti­ful and re­spect­ful. This spe­cial day should not be used to lash out. — Ver­mont Lady

Dear Ver­mont: Many read­ers men­tioned that brides could have both the fa­ther and step­fa­ther walk them down. Oth­ers sug­gested hav­ing the step­fa­ther walk the bride half­way and the fa­ther the rest of the way (or vice versa). These are won­der­ful so­lu­tions. Wed­dings should bring fam­i­lies to­gether, not drive them fur­ther apart. An­nie’s Snip­pet for Fa­ther’s Day (credit Michael Jor­dan): My fa­ther used to say that it’s never too late to do any­thing you wanted to do. And he said, “You never know what you can ac­com­plish un­til you try.” An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@ cre­, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA, USA.

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