When it comes to raising kids, one of the most important steps for the parents to take is aligning on family values. In this article, I’m giving you my best tips for establishing and holding family values in your family.
I am such a strong believer in the practice of defining your family values. Family values are the essential framework of your home: the stronger the foundation, the better equipped you and your family are for the future. Think of them as an “internal compass” for your little ones to follow when you’re not there to answer their questions. Parents can use their values to help shape their kiddos into their highest potential selves.
The beauty of family values is that they can be there for your children even when you aren’t next to them, holding their hand and guiding them through life. So if you haven’t given thought to YOUR family values yet, here is my step-by-step guide to get you started!
4 Steps to Define Your Family’s Values
1. Start with Self-Reflecting
The best first step you can take to determine your family values is to look within yourself. What is most important to you? How can you live your best life in this world? What do you want your little one to see when they look at you? Sit down with your partner, grab a notebook and a pen, and write down a list of the values you hold closest to your heart, such as joy, balance, faith, being active or education. By understanding what is most important to you, you can begin the process of establishing your values as a family.
2. Ask Your Village
From there, you should look outward to your village of supporters for help. While you & your partners’ values are the most important, there may also be values you can pick up from the members of the village to sculpt your family into something even more beautiful!
Reach out to your loved ones in your community and talk to them about their family values. It’s always helpful to get another person’s perspective on things that is outside your immediate family!
3. Communicate with Your Partner
The next step is to have an honest discussion with your partner about each of your values and which ones you want to implement in your family. Why not make this part of the process fun?! Turn it into a date night, enjoy a glass of wine together and really open up about the foundation you want to build for your children. Review your list together, then narrow it down to the three most important values that will serve as a compass for your family.
4. Incorporate Your Values as Part of your Daily Lives
Once you have decided on your core family values, find ways to incorporate them into every part of your daily life. After all, your little ones will learn the values by watching you live the values. There are so many ways you can do this—teaching your kiddos to say “thank you” if one of your values is gratitude, making a point to start each day off with a smile for the value of positivity, and making it a point to have them call their grandma for building their village. Start conversations with them about your values in your everyday lives and ask your village to do the same. You’ll be surprised by the beautiful conversations this starts and how much more fulfilling and meaningful your lives will be because of it!
5. Make Sure Your Village is on the Same Page
It’s so important to communicate your family values with the village that surrounds you — because while your kiddos can learn your family values from you, it’s just as easy to unlearn those values from someone else they’re close to. Make it a point to tell each member of your village about your family’s core values once they’re established. This way, you can feel absolutely certain your babies will still uphold your family’s core values when they’re being taken care of by their grandparents or anyone else in their village.
Want to know more about why family values are so important? Check out Episode 5 of my Windy City Nanny web series on YouTube!