The many ways fathers teach their children about values

Fathers teach important skills like confidence, resilience, respect and kindness to their children.

It is extremely important that as fathers teach their children about values, they also focus on teaching and modeling self-confidence, resilience, respect and kindness. These crucial skills are easily modeled and can be used to teach children about interacting with others in their environment.

The American Psychological Association recognizes the changing role for father’s in today’s ever-more-complex world. Fathers have to be more in tune with their relationships, including relationships with their family, friends and even with themselves. Children will watch their fathers interact with others, especially how their fathers interact with other children.

It is a father’s important job to make sure he represents the values, and interactions, expected of his children while modeling them appropriately. It is immensely important for fathers to show others kindness and respect and to do so in the presence of their own children so they may learn these values directly.

Teaching self-confidence

Fathers can help their children feel self-confident by using positive praise and encouragement. Using positive praise and encouragement are great ways to connect with a child and help them feel good about themselves. Use positive praise not only when your child does something good, but also when they do something that is typically expected. We often forget to give children praise and encouragement when they behave appropriately on a routine basis.

Make sure they know when you are noticing them behaving appropriately at home and especially in social situations. Be very aware to not over-use positive praise, as a child should not learn to expect praise for every little thing they do. However, make sure you are using praise and encouragement consciously more than any correcting comments you may be making towards their behavior.

Teaching resilience

Using positive praise and encouragement also leads to a child developing resiliency. In essence, resiliency is the ability to bounce back from a challenging or stressful situation. Whenever a father encourages a child to try their best, and to try multiple options to reach a solution, they are instilling resiliency.

Giving a child the chance to come to solutions and decisions on their own builds self-confidence and self-esteem, and helps them learn skills to deal with challenges that will show up in the future. As fathers use praise and encouragement to recognize their child’s decision-making and choices to solve problems, they are helping them gain a feeling of importance and belonging in the world around them.

Teaching respect and kindness

Respect and kindness are values that are taught and reinforced by fathers who exhibit these traits toward others in their child’s presence. Children learn how to interact with others by closely watching those around them. Fathers are no exception to the importance of being positive role models and need to take special care to consciously show kindness to others. Show respect and kindness not only to friends and family, but also to others in the community. Children will often imitate what they see, so it is very important for them to have fathers and role models that exhibit the qualities of respect towards others.

To learn about the positive impact children and families are experience due to Michigan State University Extension programs, read our 2016 Impact Reports: “Preparing young children to success” and “Preparing the future generation for success.” Additional impact reports, highlighting even more ways Michigan 4-H and MSU Extension positively impacted individuals and communities in 2016, can be downloaded from the Michigan 4-H website.

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