7 Traits to Encourage in Our Kids

7 Traits - Dads Round Table

Image Courtesy of Completely Kids Richmond

As children, our kids behave like children; selfish, disrespectful, lying, lazy slobs! I know mine are. All kids need some very basic skills to grow into healthy, well-adjusted members of society, and leave those childish traits behind. Many of those skills are learned at school. Several are found by interacting with their peers. Most, however, are taught by us, their parents.

Which of those lessons will help them most on their journey to productive adulthood? What do they need to know in order to grow into the person we want to see in front of us 20 years from now? You’ve heard of the 7 deadly sins, the 7 words you can’t say on TV, the 7th inning stretch, 007, 7-up, 7-11, 7 habits of highly effective people, 7 dwarfs, 7 wonders of the world, and the 7-year itch? Seems like lots of great things come in 7’s. Well, let me present my 7 traits to teach your kids so they don’t grow up to be douches. (We can work on a more succinct name later)


I think it all starts with honesty. If they speak the truth, to others and to themselves, that character will always be at the front of their relationships. An honest person never has to look back and wonder if they’re being who they made themselves out to be. People never have to wonder if you mean what you say. This is the foundation for anything else you can teach them.


Next, teach them to be respectful. It doesn’t matter how important they are, or what the situation is, there is always room for respect in every interaction. At family meals, with co-workers, to bosses or subordinates, on the phone, in traffic, anywhere. Everyone may not deserve your respect, but if you don’t offer it, you may never know. We can show our kids how to respect by being thoughtful of how our actions affect others, by being punctual to our commitments, and compassionate to those we interact with.


Show your children patience through your self-control. There is a time for yelling, there is a time for discipline, there is a time for flying off the handle and letting them know you mean business, but there is also a time for patience, for quiet explanation, for counting to ten and second chances. The patience you instill in them will be used on their own children. They will use it in the work-force. They will use it when looking for a spouse or when making any heavy life decision. Show them how to take a deep breath when they’re frustrated. Make them wait until after dinner on Christmas to open their final present. Give them patience, so that when troubles arise, they will have the character be deal with it calmly and with self-control.


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The Beginning
About Nick Downey

Nick is a happily married, working dad of two and a half kids (the third's on the way). He enjoys talking about himself in the third person, and getting involved in family life at every turn. Don't be surprised to find him on the floor playing with toys or drinking imaginary tea with stuffed bear cubs. Once the kids go to bed though, he's more likely to be on the couch watching the Cubs play ball, beer in hand.

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