Affirming Basic Moral Values – Part 2

Dad's Powerful Role

In my second post on affirming moral values in your children, we’re going to focus on how fathers play a powerful role—either positively or negatively—in shaping children’s basic moral values. So how does a dad play a positive role?

First, recognize your governing values and those of your family. In terms of values, what does it mean to be a member of the your last name family? Your kids should always know what values your family stands for and represents.

We can teach and preach all we want, but if we aren’t living our values, our kids will see right through us. Indeed, if kids see a hypocritical split between our words and our actions, they are likely to ignore the well-meaning words.

Model your values. Live your values. The point cannot be stressed enough. It is the fundamental determinant of the types of values your children will hold and act upon as they grow up.

One writer said that a dad has a responsibility in providing his child an enormous life experience curriculum.

Here are just a few of the “courses of study” in which we are tutoring our children: how valuable I am, how to keep responsibilities, who you can trust, how needs are met, how a man and a woman relate to each other.

In my next post: the three fundamental moral values for children

Affirming Basic Moral Values

Children Want a Moral and Spiritual Foundation

“The best measure of growth for children, and the greatest contributor to growth by other measures, is the strength of the value system which guides them through life” (Joe Batten)

Today, I begin a set of posts regarding the fundamental importance of instilling moral and spiritual values in our children.

Most of the critical problems afflicting American youths today directly reflect a fundamental breakdown in a cohesive set of values and standards that give meaning, order, and basic dignity to life.

While that is a huge fundamental problem facing us as a society and as dads, there is good news. Kids want a moral and spiritual foundation.

“One of the main cries of adolescents today is for parents to provide them ethical and moral value systems to guide them” (Ross Campbell) Teenagers, he finds, express this in many ways: one wants a “standard to live by”; another desires “a meaning to life; others yearn for “something to show me how to live” or something to hold on to”.

So where does a child get this “something to show me how to live”? The answer is obvious: in the home.

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of parents think that their most important job is passing on traditions, moral codes, and acquired knowledge—the fingerprints of civilization—to their children.

And guess where a child primarily learns to make choices of right and wrong: through a father’s training and instruction. [Next post: “dad’s powerful role” and how to fulfill it]