Restoring Lost Values
In a world when values seem to be at an ultimate low, it is crucial that parents take time to intentionally teach their children values.
It is not enough to hope that your children will have strong values.
Unfortunately, some parents may mistakenly believe that just because they personally have values, their kids will automatically adopt the same ones. Values need to be intentionally taught and continuously talked about within your family.
Your unique influence on your children can help them acquire strong values that can guide them throughout their lives. Introduce, teach, talk about scenarios, and review values you'd like your children to have.
Being a parent can feel overwhelming at times. So much to do in what feels like so little time. Thankfully, you can scale back from the big picture of it all and take small, meaningful steps to raise your children. Do this by speaking up.
Why Some Parents Feel Reluctant to Speak Up and Teach
- They may feel overwhelmed by the task.
- They aren't sure what their values are.
- They don't want to mess up and teach the wrong thing.
- As societies consistently change their values, they are unsure what values to hold.
Raising children isn't for the faint of heart. You most likely want to parent positively, but feel overwhelmed at times and don't know where to start. If you are experiencing this, you are NOT alone. This online positive parenting course will guide you in:
- Strengthening your relationship with your children
- Effectively teaching your children
- How respond to tantrums
- Identify and change patterns in your child's behavior
As a positive parent, you can identify your values, write them down, and teach them to your children.
You can simply have important conversations within the comfort of your home. You don’t need to complicate it or be overwhelmed.
An easy and intentional way to teach values in your family is using Family Facts. State your values as Family Facts and live by them.
Below are some recommended steps for teaching your children values by establishing Family Facts:
- Identify values to effectively teach your children
- State values as family facts to live by
- Positively state family facts
- Review the family facts with your children
- Randomly offer scenarios about family facts
- Highlight family facts when situations arise
Identify Values to Effectively Teach Your Children
Consider your core values. Ask yourself some important questions to identify your own values.
What values do you hold true, want to live by, and are standards for your behavior? What values do you feel like your children really need to live by? What will help them right now, as they're growing up, and throughout their lives?
Pick a handful of values you would like to teach your children, then add on to them as needed. Our family has some core values, but we're always adding on to them and sharing more. When a situation arises that relates to one of our family facts, we take time to mention it and how it relates.
Have meaningful conversations about why those values are important to you, and how they guide the way you live your life. Explain why those values are important to you, and why you’d like your entire family to live by them. You can also take time to hear from all members of the family and have them help identify family facts.
State Values as Family Facts to Live By
Simply state the values you’d like to teach while inserting your family’s last name. They are adopted as facts for your family, not values that are debatable. They are values and truths that you honor and strive to live by.
Here are some examples of our Family Facts:
Nelson's are consistently kind
Nelson's have integrity
Nelson's are truth-tellers
Nelson's are excellent to each other
Nelson's are peacemakers
Nelson's are personally responsible
Nelson's are first-time listeners
Nelson's can do hard things
Nelson's are adventurous
Does this mean that we are perfect at our Family Facts? No. We are perfect at nothing. Family Facts give a framework to refer to and remind us of the values we are striving to have.
By inserting the family’s last name, the values apply to everyone in the family. No one individual feels singled out, rather everyone is included in striving to live by strong, meaningful values. Though only one child may be struggling with telling the truth, the values are taught and reviewed by everyone in the family.
If your family has more than one last name, you could use both or simply say “Our family.”
Positively State Family Facts
Family Facts are stated positively rather than negatively using simple sentences. As you state the Family Fact, you positively encourage the family members to exhibit the value.
It is important to adjust our language to be more positive rather than negative. If your child was caught in a lie and you responded by telling them, “You are lying. We are not liars!” The focus is put on lying, instead of positively reinforcing the value that your family are truth-tellers.
Teach and remind them about what you’d like them to be, not focusing on what you don’t want them to be. You could approach the situation by saying “ (Insert last name) are truth-tellers. Would you like to try again?”
Unfortunately some parents don't take time to directly teach values.
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Review the Family Facts with Your Children
Family Facts are meant to be introduced, taught, and reviewed consistently. If you have a situation when you’ve personally implemented a Family Fact, be sure to share the experience with your family. Over time, other family members may also share experiences.
I shared this experience with my children after coming home from the grocery store.
“I was loading my groceries into the car, when I suddenly realized that there was something in my shopping cart that I missed and didn’t pay for. At that moment, I knew I had a choice. I could easily put it in my car and get the item for free, or I could have integrity and go pay for it. I chose to go pay for it and do the right thing.”
At this point I ask my children, “What does it mean to have integrity?”
We have taught and reviewed that having integrity is being honest at all times, even when no one else is watching or will know. You may be all alone, but you still do the right thing.
Sharing personal experiences helps your children know that you personally believe in and honor the Family Facts. You set the example for them, share personal experiences, and encourage them to live by the Family Facts.
Randomly Offer Scenarios About Family Facts
Randomly offer scenarios to children and ask what they would do.
We used to own a snow cone shack and hired teenagers to work there. There were times when some of the employees would pocket the money, instead of put it in the cash register. We would share this scenario with our children and ask what the would do if they were in the same situation. Then we would talk about integrity and have a short discussion about it.
“Pretend someone was working alone at a snow cone shack, and when the customer paid for their snow cones, the worker put the money in their pocket instead of the cash register. They took the money for themselves, instead of giving it to the business that they work for. No one else was there and saw them do it, so no one would know. Is that having integrity?”
We went on to talk about when you work for someone you show integrity by being honest at all times. The employer will pay a paycheck, and it is wrong to take extra for yourself. We also explained how even adults have been caught being dishonest.
Presenting various scenarios will help your child more fully understand the value and Family Fact you are teaching.
It’s important to instill values in children at a young age. Teach them right from wrong, and let them know that you believe in them.
Highlight Family Facts when Situations Arise
Take opportunities to revisit Family Facts when situations arise.
One early spring day our family was hiking a mountain to go snowboarding. Earning our turns! It wasn’t easy. The destination my husband had in mind was not the distance we hoped for. The hike was long and hard as we carried our snowboards.
It was a perfect opportunity to remind my kids about a Family Fact. As we hiked and complaining became more frequent and a little louder, I exclaimed, “Nelson's can do hard things!” They’ve heard this phrase many times in their lives, and every so often I hear them repeating this phrase to themselves when they encounter something difficult.
Highlight Your Child with Family Facts
Each child in our family has a V.I.P. Day, and it is consistently the same day every week. They have the opportunity to make some choices and have special opportunities on that particular day. When the day comes to a close we spend time together as a family. We pray together, and highlight the person who is V.I.P. for the day. Each family member expresses something they love about that child, or a way they saw them exhibit a family fact that day.
"Luke was consistently kind when he played ping pong with me."
Not only does it highlight their good behavior, but it also encourages the good behavior.
Family Facts are an intentional way you can implement values within your family. It doesn't need to be overwhelming or take long. Family Facts can be quickly taught, yet positively influence your children throughout their lives.