A Fatherhood Guide: Teaching Children Traditions and Values

Teaching values and traditions to your children is an investment in a child’s future that can greatly impact your child and future generations to come.

A. Values

Values are a reflection of personal beliefs and impact daily and life long decision making. Values explain why a person chooses to live the way he or she does.

1. Decide Which Values Are the Most Important to Teach.

Integrity, honesty, kindness, charity, and leadership are all types of values. A father needs to decide which values he considers the most important to pass on to a child. While making this decision, a father should also consider the individual child. Each child has their own set of straights and weaknesses. Different children may need assistance learning different values. Also, consider a child’s age when considering values to teach. A teenager will need more help learning how to resist peer pressure than a 6 year old.

2. Explain and Model Values

Explain to your children why each value you have chosen is important and why the value is important. As often as you can use daily living as an example of these values. For example, if your child finds $10.00 on the floor at a store, return the money to the store manager and explain that the money was found on the floor. Then explain to your child why you chose to take that action, This will teach a child honesty and integrity. Daily living offers a myriad of opportunities to teach and model values.

3. Limit Negative Influences

Teaching a child values also includes limiting negative influences. Making decisions about a child’s access to influences that can be negative can also help to deter the amount of negativity a child absorbs in daily living. For example, experts warn that commercials in television ads encourage materialism, violent video games may encourage violence, or a certain group of friends could encourage drug use. A father can limit hours spent in front of the television, limit video games to nonviolent games, or encourage a child to make new friends through a new positive hobby or activity. A father can influence both the positive and negative values in a child’s life.

B. Traditions

Traditions can be an activity that is done every weekend to once a year. The main feature of tradition is repetition.

1. Pass Down Family Traditions

If you had family traditions in your childhood that you enjoyed pass them down to a new generation. For example, Christmas usually has a set of family traditions surrounding it. If your family chose to open up Christmas presents only on Christmas morning that is a tradition. If you ate ham for dinner on Christmas eve, that can be a tradition. If Sunday evenings in the month of December were spent driving around looking at Christmas lights, that could be a tradition. Traditions comfort children because they represent stability in the family. Children enjoy stability and repetition.

2. Ask Your Children To Make New Traditions

If you would like to create new traditions for your family ask your children to join in on the discussion. Children are very creative and usually a family can create new and fun family traditions.

3. Create Traditions Based on Values

Traditions can also be created based on the values you want your children to learn. For example, if you chose communication as a value you would like to teach your child, having a Saturday night story night where each child and adult tells an oral story can be a fun way to teach communication skills.

4. Expose Your Child To Religious Traditions

If you have religious traditions or beliefs expose your child to these beliefs. Leave it up to a child to make a personal decision regarding these beliefs. Some children feel religious beliefs are forced on them and sometimes rebel if overwhelmed.

In conclusion, fathers can have a valuable impact on their children’s lives through teaching their children traditions and values.