In a consumer-driven society
that broadcasts values that don’t reflect what you believe, how can fathers
teach values to their kids? Here are ten ideas to help you:
1.Tell them your life stories and teach through your stories
Kids love to hear stories about your childhood. Weave in some moral dilemmas and
you’ve got great opportunities to teach values to them. It certainly beats
lecturing your kids!
2.Live your own life according to your values—walk the talk.
Kids learn by imitating, especially at a young age. They are very adept at
seeing if what you say and what you do are matching up. Don’t give them
confusing signals; follow your own values every moment.
3.Expose them to your religion or faith
It seems especially important today to let them know that they’re not alone.
Providing your kids with a community of faith will strengthen their values and
provide parents some “leverage”
4.Pay attention to who else might be teaching values to your kids
Get to know your child’s teachers, coaches, relatives, etc. Anyone who spends
time with your kids may be influencing them. Know their values and beliefs as
5.Ask your kids questions that will stimulate dialogue about values
Telling them what values they should have won’t always be effective, especially
when your kids get older. Asking them “curious” questions will allow discussions
that will eventually lead to values. “What did you think about that fight,” may
be more effective than, “He shouldn’t have started that fight!”
6.Talk to them about values in a relaxed and easy way
Nothing will turn your kids off more than preaching values to them after they’ve
screwed up! Talk to them when everyone’s relaxed, and do it in a light,
conversational manner. They’ll be much more likely to be listening rather than
tuning you out.
7.Read them fairy tales when they’re younger
Fairy tales capture the imagination of kids and can easily lead to a discussion
of values. Kids will learn the most concerning values when they’re excited about
8.Involve your kids in art, activities, or helping others while limiting TV and
Kids learn values when they experience them. Allow them to experience helping
others and involve them in activities that will expand their creativity.
9.Have frequent conversations about values in your household
This lets your kids know that it’s important and it’s not just something you
talk about when they do something wrong.
10.Have high expectations for your kids’ value systems
Kids will tend to rise to the level of expectation you have for them. Their
value system will often reflect yours if the expectations are high.