We all know what bad fathering looks like, and celebrities, athletes and politicians give us a steady stream of examples of what not to do, if we need them.

But good fathering is harder to pin down. Playing catch in the driveway is one way a good father can do his job, but it’s not essential.

Providing for the family is another, but it hasn’t been an exclusively male role for more than a generation.

Everyone agrees that spending time with children is important, but there are as many ways to do that as there are fathers and children.

Father’s Day started a century ago, when Sonora Smart Dodd was upset by what she saw, in the popular imagination, as the unfair portrait of fathers as lazy drunks.

Dodd’s own father was a widower who raised six children on his own, and she felt that men like him should be honored. A century later, it’s still true.

Bad or absent fathers have a well- known impact. According to U.S. Census data, 90 percent of homeless and runaway children come from fatherless homes. So are 71 percent of high school dropouts and 63 percent of young people who commit suicide.

The role of good fathering can also be measured. Children with involved fathers do better in school and get in less trouble with the law. That is also true when the involved father does not live with his children.

One hundred Father’s Days have passed since the first in 1910, and notions of a father’s role have changed dramatically over the years.

But what has not changed since Smart Dodd took up her cause is that fathers play an important role in families and deserve whatever homage they get today.