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With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, it’s important to look at different ways fatherhood has impacted people around the community.

Everyone has a different relationship with their father (if they are lucky enough to have them in their life) and this relationship has a major impact on a person’s upbringing and how they may choose to raise kids of their own.

“As a parent now it has made me know that you have to teach your children a work ethic," said Terry House, 60.

She said her father was wonderful, citing his service in the Korean War, his honesty and how he raised House and her brother with strong values. House also added that he taught her that a parent shouldn’t spoil their kid too much.

"You can’t give them everything, even though you want to, and you just need to teach them good Christian values, good morals and just give them lots of love,” House said. She said her father passed away at the age of 85 in September of 2016 and that she’ll always think about him on Father’s Day.

Joey Andes, 49, said his dad had a major impact on him when he was a kid.

“He passed away when I was 16 years old, but up to that point he was a big influence in my life,” Andes said, adding that his father taught him “integrity, hard, work, honesty” and how to be a “decent, all-around person.”

Andes now enjoys Father’s Day with his four children every year, adding that they always get together and plan something special for him.

While biological fathers get most of the attention on Father’s Day, it’s important not to forget men who are stepping into children’s lives and acting as a father figure to them, like a step-father or foster dad.

“A lot of these kiddos that come into care don’t have father figures in their lives, so a lot of them look for support in that foster dad,” said Denise Hamilton, the therapeutic support specialist at Benchmark Family Services in London.

Mikaela Lovitt, the regional director at Benchmark Family Services in London, said there’s also a misconception that a foster dad is sometimes trying to replace a child’s biological father in their life.

“We basically just tell them your family got a lot bigger,” Lovitt said.

Lovitt said many parents are considered teachers, so teaching kids independent living skills while showing them love is the most important thing a foster father can do.

The roles fathers play in children’s lives is changing across the country. According to PewResearch.org, more fathers than ever before are staying home to take care of their children, with as much as 7% of over 70 million dads across the country acting as stay-at-home dads.

The number of fatherless households has been on the rise each decade since 1960, according to fatherhood.gov, citing that over 20 million kids do not have a dad at home.

However, dads who are home are more involved in their children’s lives than ever before, according to PewResearch.org. The amount of fathers and mothers who view parenting as a major part of their identity is almost equal, too, so the dads who are home are cherishing the time with their children more than they ever have been.

ccoyle@sentinel-echo.com

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