Dads Can Make A Difference

by Free Speech on June 17, 2011

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

What a Difference Dads Can Make

With Father’s Day upon us. Hope House would like to recognize and honor all those dads that role model respectful behavior and teach their children about the importance of healthy relationships.

Dads can have a great influence over their children’s values and behavior. When dads have on-going conversations with their children about treating others with respect and having relationships based on equality, trust, honesty, and support, they are demonstrating to their children that they have rights and responsibilities in their interactions with others.

At a time when children often get the message that to be a man means to be aggressive, in control, and even violent, their dads can help reconstruct that image to show that strength does not equal violence. Rather strength is having empathy for others, using respectful communication to resolve conflict, and standing up for what is right even when no one else is.

They can show that just because someone has a different gender, race, ethnicity, culture, ability, sexual orientation, or other background does not mean that that person should be bullied or harassed. Dads can show that people’s differences make us unique, and we can learn from each other, including recognizing our commonalities.

Dads can teach their daughters to be confident in themselves and help them with the pressures they feel related to body image. Dads can teach their sons that being compassionate, caring, and nurturing should not be only something that females do – that crying and showing emotion besides anger is an important part of expressing feelings for any human being.

Moms, of course, have a big role to play as well in delivering these messages. However, historically moms are usually seen as already filling this role, and some dads might feel like they can just default these issues to Mom.

Yet the impact of a dad saying that violence (whether physical, sexual, or verbal) is not acceptable and that respect is the expected behavior can last a lifetime. Thank you to all dads, and “like dads,” that play this role in their children’s lives. For helpful tips and resources related to men teaching youth about respect, please visit www.GiveRespect.org, www.ItStartsWithYou.ca, www.CoachesCorner.org, and www.ACallToMen.com.

Jess Kaehny

Community Education Coordinator

Hope House of South Central Wisconsin

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