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This Father’s Day Hope House would like to thank all father figures for the important role they play in their children’s social and emotional development.

Fathers play a vital role in influencing not only their child’s physical development and well-being, but also their emotional well-being. How their fathers treat others and express themselves informs children’s sense of self and their view of the world around them.

At a young age, children may learn stereotypes from kids, adults, and the media — that to be a boy means to be aggressive or unfeeling and that to be a girl means their appearance matters above all else. By teaching valuable lessons regarding healthy relationships and breaking down gender stereotypes, fathers can positively shape how their children view themselves and others.

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One of the best ways fathers can teach the value of healthy relationships is through demonstrating respect with their partner and/or with their child’s mom. By teaching their children early that respect is expected and that violence or put-downs is not OK, they are informing their children’s future values regarding relationships.

So, to all father figures taking on this important role, thank you.

Sarah Campbell, teen advocate, Hope House of South Central Wisconsin, Baraboo

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