The New Family Values
We asked parents across the country to share the family values and traditions most important to them—and what we found surprised even the experts. Plus: How the makeup of modern families has changed
Liars Never Prosper
Nearly three out of four parents say it's important to always be truthful; only 24% confessed to telling white lies now and then 64% say they'd drive right back to the store to return the wrong change made in their favor (and teach their kids a valuable lesson).
“If you believe white lies are OK, then what your kids someday put up online may not be the truth either,” says Dr. O'Keeffe.
1 in 3 parents wish they could do more community service with their kids, but they're too busy to get around to it.
Make it happen: Community service doesn't have to be a big production to have an impact on kids. Andrew Timmins, a dad from Vacaville, CA, gets his 3-year-old involved in helping prepare meals for the homeless and picking toys she can give away.
Have you let your child under 13 have a Facebook page? 83% said no
“I don't think they are able to exercise the judgment they need to safely navigate social media until age 13.” -Amy Beth Hair, Decatur, GA
17% said yes
“My eight-year-old just got on Facebook, but we make sure that there are only family members—her grandfather, aunts, uncles—on her friend list. Today, it's easier and faster to text someone or chat with them on Facebook. Plus, it helps her learn to type and spell.” -Elizabeth Essex, West Frankfort, IL
What the experts say:
“Facebook is complicated—the way you post, the ads, the privacy settings—these are issues that are hard for teens to understand,” says Dr. O'Keeffe. Plus: You'd have to lie about her age—and you really don't want to set a precedent for that (hello, fake IDs).
The QT Factor
64% of parents say they spend two hours or more a day having fun with (as opposed to taking care of) their kids
18% of parents think family time trumps extracurricular activities
16% limit their child's commitments to one or two activities
What's the secret to raising a child with a strong sense of self-esteem? Help her feel competent, which in turn will boost her confidence. And one way to do that is to emphasize plenty of PDF—playtime, downtime and family time, says Levine. Just don't confuse sitting in the bleachers every weekend with family time. “Running around to all your child's games isn't necessarily a good thing,” says Levine. “You're sending a message that being an adult means having no time for yourself.”