Where does a child learn to be a mentsch (a good person)? From his/her parents! Indeed, in the Talmud (Sukkot 56b) it even notes that a child repeats in the streets what he/she hears at home.Growing up in a Messianic Jewish synagogue and attending a Messianic Jewish day school gave me a love of Torah--which my dad nurtured through regular conversations about life, God, and Torah (a practice we continue to this day). I remember many times hearing my dad exhort me to be a mensch.
According to the sages of the Talmud, after circumcision and Pidyon Haben (redemption of the first born son), a father’s primary responsibilities are to teach the child Torah, to find him/her a spouse, and to teach the child a trade (Kiddushin 29a). At the bare minimum, his fatherly obligations mean making certain that the basic necessities of child-rearing are attended to (by a third party if necessary). But, the best child-rearing includes dad sharing his time, knowledge and wisdom, and truly leaving a lasting and meaningful impression on his children.
My dad was also definitely involved in welcoming my wife Kristen into our family and encouraging me to pursue the wonderful eshes hayil I've been blessed to find.
Finally, my dad always encouraged me to surpass him in the trade I choose to practice. When I chose to get an engineering degree, he was behind me all the way.
As far as the Talmud is concerned, my dad fulfilled his responsibilities to me...in spades! And with the sages I heartily agree. Thanks, Dad.