“Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.” – Dr. James C. Dobson
How do we get our kids to live according to the highest values in our homes? What are Family Values? Is it how we treat one another? Are they life skills? YES!
I thought I’d share our Family Values as an example:
- INTEGRITY – Honesty, sincerity and morality.
- COMMON SENSE – Ask yourself, “Am I making a good choice in behavior?” “Am I using good judgement?” (3)
- SENSE OF HUMOR – Not teasing, but laughing together and playing together encourages loving feelings.
- RESPONSIBILITY – Holding oneself accountable for your actions in deed and word.
- EFFORT – I always say, you will get a better outcome or grade with good effort. Effort shows that you tried your very best.
- COOPERATION – The ability to work with others.
- RESPECT – Courtesy toward others and yourself. As an aside, I read recently that men in general would prefer to be respected than loved! You can respect someone without loving them, but can you love someone you don’t respect?! Interesting.
- CARING – demonstrating kindness, thoughtfulness and empathy.
How to make your list: Discuss with your family their top 10 priorities…write them down and collectively come to a definition for each priority. Then, set rules around your values – if Sunday family dinner is important, for example, then it is important that each family member be present at Sunday dinner, etc. Once your family values have been decided, rules in place, you are all held accountable to stick to them. Often it’s easy to let things slide, but this is not an option if the items on your list are truly valued.
You can also use your list to play a game for the week. Pick one value and practice it all week outside of the house…at Sunday dinner you can all share your experiences of what it was like to practice your family value with others.
Teaching and modeling Family Values can create a foundation which allows your children to make good sound choices on their own. Your values become your child’s moral guide and form the cornerstone of her conscience.