Dads have such a profound influence on their children. Daddies are being watched by their kids all the time. Their little hawk eyes don’t miss much. Even when we think they are not looking, they are watching. Taking in everything they see. Mothers and fathers, both hold a significant role in their children’s lives. However, right now we are talking about the influence of a dad.
When the children watch the way their father treats their mother, they are receiving messages of what is acceptable and what is not. The children hear how their father speaks to mom; they see how he treats her. Even if they are too little to express what they see, they notice the tenderness or the harshness. Small children are learning a lesson every time they see how dad respects and loves mom.
Here are four ways to teach lessons of love and respect. Telling the kids is good but showing them is even better. Fathers, as the old saying goes, your actions will speak louder than your words.
1. Openly speak words of love and kindness to your wife. The children will hear it. To them, this will and should be their normal way of life. They will model what they experience.
2. Never argue in front of the children. Small children are too young to fully understand what is going on. They don’t know what happened to cause the disagreement, who is right or who is wrong. They just see that something is not right. When arguing takes place in front of the kids, they see a picture modeled before them that says it is okay to yell at mom.
3. Say thank you. Moms do many things that can be taken for granted. Never let your wife be taken for granted, by you or the kids. Express gratitude for the many things she does for the family.
4. Talk to the kids. Have age appropriate conversations about what respect means. It can begin early on teaching toddlers that yelling “no” at mom [or anyone else for that matter] is not okay. Show them how to answer using the proper tone and two or three words. No thank you, No ma’am, No please, are all phrases that a toddler can use.
After a high school football game, I heard a child curse his mother. My first thought each time was “If that were my child… “ but then I thought, what made that child think that was okay behavior. On the other hand, I heard of a teenager smart mouthing his mother in the car and dad pulling the car over and telling the kid don’t you ever talk to my wife that way again. Yes, respect is earned, but with children they must first be taught.
Moms and dads both have great responsibility and influence on children. Yet, here we’re addressing Fathers. Fathers, babies need you so much. They learn what to do and what not to do by watching you. Teach them to respect their mother both by what you say and what you do. Your wife deserves the honor and your children are worthy of the lesson. Teach them to respect mother.
BMWK, Do you have anything to add that Fathers could teach their children to respect their mother?