Welcome to video #5 in this 7 part video series called The Fatherhood Formula where we teach you the 7 Principles of Dad Success. So we have now completed 4 of the principles for dad success. If you haven’t see the first 4 videos, you can find them on our Fatherhood Formula playlist.
In today’s video, we are discussing the 5th principal: Character. Character is about who you are as a person, how you act, or how you treat other people. There is good character and bad character. Let’s compare a couple of common character traits:
Good Character vs Bad Character
1. Honesty vs Dishonesty
2. Responsible vs Irresponsible
3. Generosity vs Greedy
4. Respectful vs Disresepctful
5. Kind vs Mean
So why is having good character important as a father? well because you are leading by example. Have you ever heard the saying monkey see, monkey do. A child mimics what they see. As it relates to you, they see everything!!
You may not be aware that the yelling you did at your wife the other day was teaching your child that it’s necessaryt to yell to get your point across.
When you were critical of the waiter’s appearance at the restaurant last night, you taught your child that judging someone is ok.
Or how about telling your child that you will be at their sporting event and then deciding not to go, teaching them that keeping your word is not very important.
We often don’t realize how much our actions, words, and everything we do has an impact on our child. We expect them to behave a certain way, treat others a certain way, or simply act a certain way…..yet me may fail to do it ourselves.
Our character (and having good character) is a crucial principle in dad success. If you want to raise a child with good character, the #1 factor is that you lead by example. While it may not be a guarantee your child follows in your footsteps, you have a much better chance.
If for some reason you don’t think what you do has that much of an inpact, here is a quick story:
I got upset one day and yelled at my son. He was 8 years old at the time and really didn’t deserve to be yelled at. I was frustrated with some other things and let it out on him. I ended up storming out of the room. Within a few minutes, I realized how stupid i had acted and came back into where he was and apologized. I said, you know, I’m really sorry for the way I acted and for yelling at you. I could have handled the situation much better. You didn’t deserve to be yelled at like that.
Fast forward about a week and the tables are turned. My son was really upset about something and ended up yelling at me. He does the same thing as me, storms out of the room and ends up coming back a few minutes later and says, “Dad, I shouldn’t have yelled at you like that. I could have handled it a lot better, I’m sorry”.
This is how you know they are watching and why it’s so important to lead by example. Whether it’s positive or negative, you are showing them the way.
So many of us go through our day to day lives not being aware of how much we say and do has an impact on our children. Our character is such an important part of that.
It’s important to be mindful that while you certainly are living your own life, your life help’s shape your child’s life.
There are certainly many things that you can do to help teach your child character. Here are some specific examples that you might consider valuable:
1. Be respectful to their mother – Whether you are married to her or not, be respectful as they are watching how you treat people.
2. Assign responsibilities to all family members – Everyone contributes and helps around the house
3. Plan activities to help others – The act of giving doesn’t need to only happen during the holidays, it can be year ’round.
4. Show them good manners – Saying please and thank you isn’t for special occasions.
5. Be kind to others – Show them that being nice always wins
Remember what I said at the beginning of this video, monkey see, monkey do. You have a decision to make. Do you want give your child the best opportunity to grow up as a responsible, moral, and good human being?
Well you have to look in the mirror and ask yourself: Are you leading by example and living your life in a way that positively impacts your child?
I want to hear from you. What is something positive that you do, that you now see your child doing the same thing? Write it in the comments section below.