When you were a kid, do you remember your father sitting down with you and telling you about the value of a hard day's work? How about the virtue of teamwork and honesty? Or treating others as you'd like to be treated? One look at our global environment proves that not every dad did the job he was supposed to – and nowadays it may be getting more difficult to parent a stand-up citizen.
"Our increasingly competitive economy is creating an environment where Mom and Dad are spending longer hours at work and fewer hours with their children," observes Gary Hill, Ph.D., director of Clinical Services at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. This means that children are getting much of their values from surrogate sources, such as the internet, television or video-games.
As a good dad, you're responsible for providing the fundamental values that keep your children emotionally centered, self-confident and capable of weathering the ever-changing ways of the world. Instilling good values in your kids at an early age is perhaps the most important things you can do for them – and there's no better way to do this than by being a living example.
To encourage truthfulness in your child, be truthful yourself. If you want them to be more compassionate, show them how by exhibiting compassion. Whether or not you realize it, your kids absorb your words and actions like a sponge, so make sure you act as you hope they will.
With a little bit of work and a whole lot of patience, you can make sure that important values help frame the foundations of your child's personality, so he can grow up to teach those same values to their own children .