I have been doing lots of reading lately on parenting...I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything, and trying to stay ahead of the kids as they get older. I've read Dan Kindlon's Too Much of a Good Thing, Faber and Mazlish's How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, and tonight I went to listen to a speaker and author talk about the challenges of raising kids that will have jobs that haven't even been invented yet.
Throughout most of these books, there is a common theme. Statistical data abounds that supports the following 4 things usually result in, or have a much higher chance of developing a good person, a person with solid morals and a sense of character.
1.) Eat dinner with your kids every night. Talk about your day, and theirs.
2.) Give your kids responsibilities at home, like keeping their room clean. (And don't pay them to do it..it's not a paid position, it's a pitch-in and do your part kind of thing.)
3.) Have your kids get involved in some sort of community service. Preferably something that involves relating to someone that is somehow different than they are, or not as fortunate either physically or emotionally.
4.) Praise the effort and not the achievement. A good work ethic that involves problem solving, working through frustration and some honest hard work give a person more sense of himself than any award ever will.