Ask Dad, He Knows! Five Things Every Dad Should Teach His Kids
Being a father is a great responsibility. Your kids look up to you.
They watch you. They’re listening, even when it seems like they aren’t.
There are a lot of influences out there vying for your kids’ attention, but the greatest influence in any child’s life is their parents. You, Dad, can make a difference in your kid’s life!
But it doesn’t just happen automatically. Many values and skills that seem like common sense actually have to be learned.
But how can your kids learn unless they’re taught? You’re the teacher.
Below are five important things you need to teach your kids to help them become responsible, healthy and happy adults.
1. Respect Others, Respect Yourself
One of the most important things you can teach your kids is to be respectful toward others as well as themselves. In all of their relationships, with family, friends, students, coworkers, employers and even strangers on the street, respect is the glue that holds our society together.
Children who have no respect for authority, for elders and for other kids get themselves into all kinds of trouble as kids. This often carries over into adulthood.
So teaching your kids to respect others is crucial for their development and preparation for adulthood. But self-respect is equally important.
To live healthy, happy lives as adults, your kids will need to learn to respect themselves. Also, to have the self-confidence necessary to stand up for themselves and to speak up to make sure their own needs are taken care of.
Many adults who lack self-respect struggle their whole lives and often get stuck in abusive relationships for years on end.
Don’t let your kids fall into that trap. Teach them their happiness matters, and they need to choose friendships with people who will treat them with the respect they deserve.
2. Save and Budget Your Money
Financial difficulties are a major cause of divorce, crime, stress and poor health. So it’s important to teach your kids to manage money responsibly from an early age.
Give your kids a weekly or bi-weekly allowance, and teach them to save a portion in the bank as well as to set some aside for larger purchases. Allowance for kids can teach them practical skills like saving, budgeting and investing, which everyone needs to master before they head off to live on their own and become financially independent.
3. Develop Safe Driving Habits
When your kids become teenagers, somebody is going to teach them how to drive. They’ll learn from their friends, but chances are good their friends will not teach them the best driving habits.
So take the initiative and share your knowledge and experience with them. This can begin well before they are old enough to get behind the wheel.
When you see someone breaking the rules of the road, point it out to your child and explain what went wrong and what they should have done instead. Make it an ongoing conversation.
Not only will this save your child money on insurance and car repairs in the future, it could also save his or her life.
4. Be Self-Reliant
If you could sum up all your responsibilities as a parent in one word, it would be this: independence.
For this reason, it’s imperative you teach your kids to take initiative, to be self-reliant, to act responsibly and to not make excuses or blame others for their shortcomings. There are many adults today who still don’t know how to accept responsibility for their lives.
They are stuck, struggling and seem to be waiting for someone else to come to the rescue. Nobody is coming to the rescue.
If they want something to change in their lives, they need to take the actions necessary to make those changes occur.
5. Take Pride in Your Work
Lastly, fathers need to teach their sons and daughters to take pride in everything they do, to always do and be at their best – even when nobody is looking. This commitment to excellence will help them achieve their goals, be more successful in their careers and open up greater opportunities to live more rewarding and fulfilling lives.
Fatherhood is one of the greatest challenges and the greatest joys that life has to offer. You are leaving your mark on your kids’ lives, on their families and on the communities in which they will live.
Don’t hold back! Step up to the challenge and give your children everything you’ve got to help them go out into the world and live lives you and they will be proud of.