Inside you’ll find out how to determine your family values then make them a strong part of your family.
The issue is that my husband and I are polar opposites.
Like completely polar. We are North Pole to South Pole, vanilla to chocolate. Sweet to savory opposites. And yet, somehow, our core values align well together.
Don’t get me wrong, not every single value lines up perfectly. For Example, he values rest and I value work. However, we both have a large set of core values we both support.
Life get’s a bit crazy with young kids all living together in one home. Trust me, I know! Just one more reason why sharing a core set of values is vital!
Without determining and becoming a champion of our core values, our children might be confused and our family unit suffer.
As parents, we want out children to align with then adopt our family values. Let’s talk about how to do this through modeling and conversation.
How To Determine Your Family Values
It’s not as difficult as you may think… I have a page full of values for you to brainstorm and choose from you can access instantly here.
If you don’t bring your values to the forefront of your family life by deed, tradition, and conversation then you can’t expect your children to exhibit them later.
Sure, they will “catch” a lot of things, but if we aren’t sure of our own core values then we won’t be living them in a big way.
Begin by Asking Yourself These Questions…
It can be hard to think about what things we value most. We’re so caught up in the hubbub of life we often forget to really focus on the deeper things, they are less “urgent.” That’s why we’re going to do this exercise.
Asking yourself these questions (along with this printable) and really digging deep into what your values… a great way to start!
How Do I Want Kids To Feel In Our Home?
Close your eyes and imagine you are inside the home waiting for your kids to walk in. They come inside the door… what do you want them to feel? Why do you want them to feel these things?
Write down all the words that come to mind then use this sheet to circle your favorites. You can narrow down from there.
I want my children to feel safe, loved, and challenged. This is because I value security, acceptance, and hard work. I want them to know I love them no matter what they do, but I want them to value excellence.
What Qualities Do I Value The Most In Others?
Think about 3 people you admire greatly. What do you admire about them most? What character qualities do they have you wish you had? Now ask yourself… do you also strive for or exhibit these qualities? Or are you a different personality and these qualities simply attract you?
I greatly admire Beth Moore, the Christian writer and speaker. She’s funny, a straight talker, and honest even when it hurts. I value a good time (humor), reality (not dreams and visions), and honesty.
What Character Flaws Bother Me The Most In Others?
This is a fun one. Depending on your personality (I’m an ENTJ, choleric, Enneagram 8) you will naturally be bothered by certain things that other personalities may not. Your partner might be able to handle some things and take them in stride where you’ll want to complain about them and rant on Facebook for 2 days.
Think about those qualities that do your head in and then find their opposite. Those things you hate may highlight the things you value.
I hate when people lie to me. I can’t stand laziness. People who always complain but never do anything to change their situation annoy me. Therefore I value honesty, hard work and industry, and a solution oriented attitude.
What Do I Find Myself Repeating Over And Over?
What you find yourself repeating over and over again with the kids likely holds clues as to your values. Are you always reminding them to clean or tidy up? Do you have lots of conversations relating to faith with your kids? As a family do you frequently visit, love, and serve others?
These behaviors are good fruit of a tree planted in your value system.
I often say the phrase, “We don’t hurt each other in our family, we encourage each other.” Another thing kids think I say too much is, “You can’t complain about dinner since you didn’t pay for the groceries or cook it.” And another is, “We are NOT mean to each other in this family.” I value positive attitudes, appreciation, and kindness.
I know my values… now what?
Now that you’ve determined what you feel are your core values… hang them up. (You can use this editable printable). When you are dealing with a certain situation that pertains to one of your values, mention it.
“Thanks so much for helping me, I’m so glad our family values helping out.”
Remind them of your values. Speak them vocally as much as you can. Your kid’s will hold on to them more if you use repetition.
The Smiths love courage…
The Jones are hard workers…
The Millers love new adventures…
The Parkers are crazy for Disney….
And on and on.
Family Culture Series
- Post 1: Family Culture: The Ultimate Guide To Building Strong Families
- The Second Article: Family Values: How To Determine Then Live Out What Matters Most (you are here)
- Post 3: Family Traditions: The Indisputable Benefits of Family Rituals
- Family Identity: The Thing Tight Knit Families Have That Distant Families Don’t (Pt. 4)
You’ve Got A Family Culture… Embrace It
Figuring out your family values will probably be fun. But, even if it doesn’t sounds like fun….you gotta do it.
We can’t expect our children to mine the depths of our hearts and then live out the things we value most. And, odds are in this fast paced, frenzied world, we aren’t even living out our deepest values.
It takes planning and work to live intentionally. But, that can change. It doesn’t have to be hard… we just have to put our values front and center.
“Activities that give us durable happiness are the ones we have a hand in creating. We don’t just sit back and receive pleasure (fun with family, etc.). We actually generate the pleasure ourselves.”
-Secrets of Happy Families
In my quest to strengthen our own family culture and help you strengthen yours, I made a beautifully functional Family Culture Pack for you. Use it to brainstorm your family values, then edit the template and print your own family values to frame or hang on the fridge.
Nail down the aspects of your family culture you already have and those that are lacking. Begin improving your own family culture today.
If you don’t determine and then live our your values… your children won’t either.