One of the most popular questions we get here at Focus on the Family is, “How do I pass my values on to my children?” Let me answer that question for you by sharing two important ideas.
First and foremost is family. You, mom and dad, are the most important influence in your kids’ lives. They’re watching you. Everything you say and do makes a profound impression on what your children say and do. So, model the values you hope your children will adopt as their own. If you want them to be loving, then be loving. If you want them to value honesty and integrity, then be an honest person with integrity.
The second most important factor in transmitting your values, believe it or not, is adversity. Adversity is a great teacher. Obstacles and struggle, not luxury and ease, are what develop deep character. It’s in hard times that we discover a deeper sense of what’s true about the world and about our ability to handle it. No one will rescue your child when they’re an adult, so teach them to handle adversity while they’re children. Instill them with the confidence to keep moving forward, through their challenges.
Remember that values are caught more than they’re taught. Passing on beliefs that will sustain your children for a lifetime is one of your most important responsibilities as a parent. Model good values and let your kids struggle when those values get challenged.