This month, all the BRIDGES locations are celebrating Father’s Day.

It’s a day acknowledging the contributions of fathers to their families and communities.

Children depend on their fathers for their spiritual, emotional, physical, financial and social well-being.

For many daughters, he is the ideal man in the world and also the first man they come to adore, whereas for many sons, their father is a hero and the strongest man they aspire to emulate.

A Huffington Post article went further in explaining the role of fathers in their children’s lives:

“Girls will look for men who hold the patterns of good old dad, for after all, they know how `to do that.’ Therefore, if father was kind, loving, and gentle, they will reach for those characteristics in men. Girls will look for, in others, what they have experienced and become familiar with in childhood. Because they’ve gotten used to those familial and historic behavioral patterns, they think that they can handle them in relationships.”

“Boys on the other hand, will model themselves after their fathers. They will look for their father’s approval in everything they do, and copy those behaviors that they recognize as both successful and familiar. Thus, if dad was abusive, controlling, and dominating, those will be the patterns that their sons will imitate and emulate. However, if father is loving, kind, supportive, and protective, boys will want to be that.”

So true!

Traditionally, the father has been the provider and guide for children. But that’s changing now, as most husbands and wives are working. Today’s fathers are often as involved in child rearing as the mothers. Many fathers change diapers and put babies to sleep, as well as make dinner, wash clothing, and clean their homes. Research indicates that fathers – especially the stay-at-home dads — are as important as mothers for being caregivers, protectors, financial supporters, and models for social and emotional behavior.

The changing role of fathers is strengthening the father-child relationship and building stronger family bonds.

So let’s honor the dads in our BRIDGES communities and beyond.

On Father’s Day, give them the love and respect that they deserve. Recognize and reward dads for being there, and actively teaching important life skills to children.

Tell your dad: “Thank you, job well done.”