Defining Your Family Values
Build a foundation for your family’s future by prioritizing what’s important to you
I am such a strong believer in the practice of defining your family values. Family values are like the frame of your house: the stronger the foundation, the better equipped to withstand the test of time. Think of them as an “internal compass” for your child to follow when you’re not there to answer their questions. Parents can use their values help to shape their child into the person they hope their child will become.
The beauty of family values are that they stand by your child even when you aren’t right there, holding their hand and guiding them through life. They could not be more important! So if you haven’t thought about 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. Ask what is most important to you. How can you live your best life in this world? What do you want your child to see when they look at you? Have both you and your spouse or 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. Communicate with your spouse
The next step is to have a deep and honest discussion with your spouse about your values as individuals and those that you want to implement in your family. What is most essential to both of you for your child to understand and emulate? You can totally 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.
3. Incorporate your values as part of your daily life
Once you have decided on your family values, find ways to incorporate them into your daily life. After all, your child will learn the values by watching you live the values. There are so many ways to act your values—teaching your child 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 putting money in a piggy bank if one of your values is stability. Pepper conversations about your values into everyday life and ask your family to do the same. You may be surprised by the conversations doing this starts and how much better you can communicate with each other because of it!
4. Make sure your childcare is on the same page
When you hire or engage a nanny to work with your children, the number one attribute you should look for is that your values align. This will help to make sure that what is most important to your family is enforced with or without you being present. Not only will this position your childcare for additional success, but it will also help your family grow closer. Be patient with yourself and your family as the values become part of your everyday life. The values you teach your child will last their lifetime.
Interested in learning more about why family values are so important? Don’t miss Episode 5 of my new web series #WindyCityNanny, live now on YouTube!