Think about your family as you consider values such as cooperation, financial stability, humility, and patience. Try thinking about the values in terms of categories. Try looking at the list of values and figuring out which category to put them in. This organization can lead to clarity about what matters most to you. Ask questions.
Once you have spent some time thinking about your personal values, it's time to figure out how to integrate them with the rest of your family. In order to do that, you all need to effectively communicate with each other. Begin the process by asking questions. Begin by asking open ended questions such as, "What is most important to our family?
How does that affect our family? Then you can openly and honestly compare answers. Encourage your family members to ask questions, too. Be a good listener. During your family discussion, it is important that you all practice good listening skills. To indicate that you are listening, ask follow up questions.
For example, if your partner says he values honesty, ask him how that can become more of a focus for the family. You can also use non-verbal cues to indicate that you are listening. Nod your head when someone is speaking, and smile to indicate you appreciate what is being said. Try to limit interruptions. Ask everyone to put away their cell phones and turn off the tv while you are having this important conversation.
Solidify your family values. Once you have spent some time discussing your family values and enjoying quality time together, you can begin the process of more clearly defining your family values. Take some time to sit down together and make a list of the values that are most important.
You can think of these values as firm guidelines that your family is agreeing to live by. Writing things down can help your family gain mental clarity about shared values. Try having each family member choose values that they feel are most important. Combined, this will give you a manageable number of values to put on your permanent list. For example, you could choose "Safety" as one of the primary values for your family. Each family member could then indicate how they will stick to this value.
You could pledge to always drive the speed limit. Your daughter could promise to always wear a helmet when riding her bike. Make sure your children are involved. Treat defining your family values as a family decision.
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If your children are a little older, such as teenagers, make sure they feel like they are an important part of the process. Say things such as, "We value your input. How do you feel about including education as one of our primary family values?
Try saying, "What do you like about this choice? Why do you think adding humor as a family value is the best option? Try having them draw a picture of the things they love about your family. Write a mission statement. Once you have reflected on your values and discussed them with your family, you should have a good idea of how to define your family values. One way to solidify them is to write a mission statement. This is a document that indicates what your family values and can also include goals. The mission statement is a formal declaration of the values you share as a family.
Try writing an introduction that states why your family is choosing these particular values. You can talk about how your family is committed to these values in order to help promote good life choices. The introduction doesn't have to be long, just a paragraph will do. List the values. You can organize them by categories such as Health, Happiness, Balance, and Stability. Then, you can indicate your family strategy for sticking to each of these values.
Having it hang in your home is a good way to remind each of you of what is truly important to your family. Think of your values daily. Take a few minutes every day to check in with yourself.
For children, these values include how they approach school and their education. Examples of work values include:. Moral values are your individual values about what you think is right and wrong. Moral values provide the foundation from which you make decisions. Morals are learned from your parents and your experiences.
Examples of moral values include:. Recreational values refer to anything that involves fun and play. Recreation is important in the family because it fosters closeness in the family, opportunities for learning, creating memories, improving social skills , and developing empathy. Examples of recreational values include:. Sitting down as a family and coming up with a list of values can seem like a daunting task. However, know that there is not one right way to come up with your list.
Start by calling a family meeting and getting input from each family member.
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Parents learn too. While no one would disagree that academic learning is vital to success in 21 st century careers, parents have the ability to teach children so much more through their family values. The Compass Advantage is a framework that values a particular set of human abilities—curiosity, sociability, resilience, self-awareness, integrity, resourcefulness, creativity, and empathy. Instead, the framework is based on research that suggests these abilities are core to how youth and adults flourish in life. When young people possess these abilities, they are more likely to succeed in an increasingly complex society.
My Parenting Promise, pictured below, was designed to articulate a set of family values that positively impact child and adolescent development.