Building a List of Family Values

Each family has important values and guidelines which are engrained in living, working and being together.  Parents and children spend nearly 1/3 of their lives together. Building a list of family values can be a useful exercise to codify what you do already in practice.

What are family values?

Family values serve as a set of ideals that guide your decisions and daily activities. They include a list of the things that are important to your family and the shared objectives. If you have children, your family values should be a reflection of the type of person you want them to grow up to be. Family values typically pertain to the nuclear family (parents and children), but they can also be applied to the extended family.

Here is a sample list

1. To be your own authentic self

Whatever you do, wherever you are, it is crucial to keep your identity intact and be yourself. Learn to adapt, accommodate according to the situation but be original and never copy others.

2. Include laughter

Life is not a bed of roses and in the tough times, nothing cheers you more than a smile or laughter. Always find room for laughter, joke with friends and family members.  Add modesty to your lifestyle and be self-deprecating.  Make a smiling day for yourself. You will feel how the energy fills you from within.

3. Invent and fantasize, optimize and craft

Allow creativity to be part of your daily life. Find opportunities that make room for inventions, crafts and imaginations to fulfil your dreams.

4. Read

The habit of reading in children is developed from the family. Invest your time in reading with your children, books of their interest and books that you like.

5. Play

Believe that games are essential and useful for all people regardless of age. In between your hectic routine, do not lose passion, interest and engagement from your life.

6. Be free

Teach your children to take decisions on their own. Understand that one person does not belong wholly to another and we all are solely responsible for our actions, decisions and destiny.

7. Value time

Alongside valuing relationships, learn to value time. Respect your time and also the time of people around you.

8. Keep a reasonable pace of life  

Don’t try to do too much and lose the joy and perspective of doing.  At the same time don’t go too slow that you miss out on valuable experiences of life. Keep a pace that you can manage without being stressful or compromising on family life.

9. Do not lose interest in the present day

Live for today, in the moment but also keep one eye on the future and your plans.

10. Don’t get caught up in commercialism

While you struggle for the best, don’t be in the need to have and want more.  The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence but it may not be as well.  The Jones’ aren’t necessarily the ones you want to keep up with…

11. Be tolerant, caring and forgiving

Have a big heart to forget people’s mistakes and forgive them. Say more of thank you and sorry. Be empathetic and caring for others irrespective of their cast, color and creed.

12. Do not stop thinking

Keep your mind going, wandering and dreaming. Do not stop thinking and think beyond your limits, about endless possibilities, to make your end a new beginning.

13. Be honest

One of the most important family values is honesty. Teach your kids to be honest to each other, honest to their profession and most importantly, honest to themselves.

14. Respect

No matter who you meet and whether you like them or dislike them, never make them feel disrespected. If you want people to respect you, you must first learn to respect people and never by your actions disrespect them.

15. Communicate

Understand the value of communication. Most of the problems and assumptions occur due to no communication or poor communication. Make space and time for each other in the family to talk and listen.

16. Respecting your elders

A common family value is to respect one’s elders, especially in societies where family is valued more highly than, for example, a job. But depending on the household, respecting your elders might imply different things. Some people could demonstrate this value by visiting their grandparents frequently and listening to their experiences. Others could demonstrate this value by allowing their elderly parents to live with them or even having them participate in certain major family decisions.

17. Faith 

This is yet another enduring family value, and it frequently denotes the family’s affiliation with a certain faith. Moral standards are also influenced by faith, which is frequently displayed via religious activities like visiting the church or praying.

18. Kindness

Implies showing consideration for and providing assistance to others when required. Many parents encourage their kids to treat their siblings well and share toys with friends in an effort to teach them the importance of kindness.

19. Honesty 

Honesty is a moral virtue that must be included while discussing them. Many parents instill a value of honesty in their children by urging them to speak the truth and refrain from lying.

20. Family

Family may be a family value in and of itself, yes! It is also a well-liked one. By spending time with their children, spouses, or parents, many people decide to prioritize their family over their jobs or academic obligations. They can decide to organize a family trip or reunion each year so that family members can interact in person. Family dinners or movie or game nights are other ways that members of the home (parents, kids, grandparents, etc.) display the significance of family.

family walking on path image

21. Hard Work

 Hard effort is a prevalent characteristic in American families, where the prevailing belief is that success comes from working hard. This is frequently seen in individuals putting a lot of effort into their work, developing their professions via promotions and increases, and consistently giving it their all. (Instead of merely getting by). Children are encouraged to work hard in class and earn excellent marks, so this also applies to them. In a family tradition where the family company is passed down from generation to generation, hard labor as a value may manifest itself.

22. Education

Education is another prevalent family value, along with working hard in school and achieving excellent marks. Parents frequently push their kids to go to college, and this family value can be especially strong in households where the kids will be the first in their family to graduate from college. To provide their offspring with greater professional prospects and riches than their parents and earlier generations did is the aim of this value.

 23. Career

A family value related to education may be a career. Working parents provide an example for their kids by choosing lucrative or fulfilling careers, sharing their sense of fulfillment at work, and encouraging their kids to pursue similar careers.

24. Giving

 Giving is a family value that may promote selflessness and kindness, such as giving money to a charity or giving your time to your community.

25. Integrity

 Integrity is a fundamental trait because it positions a person to uphold high moral standards generally. A person with integrity is trustworthy, discerns between right and evil, and opts to act morally.

This is just the start – you can come up with your own list or take inspiration from books around. There are plenty of books that will open your mind and give you ideas about how you can nurture your children and lead your family.

Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism 

This book gives the reader a descriptive and clear idea of the relationship between free-market liberals and social conservatives. It gives different perspectives on political, social and economic history with the help of quotes for the reader to understand easily.

The Family Virtues Guide: Simple Ways to Bring Out the Best in Our Children and Ourselves

Consider this book as a family guide that will help you develop very strong family values that inculcate compassion, generosity and spirituality. Thoughtfully written from the perspective of different religions of the world, this book has 52 virtues (one for each week) with strategies that help your implement and practice these values at home with children and other family members

Family Values from A to Z

This book is best suited for new parents or beginners. It contains easy to apply, simple family values from A-Z that can be incorporated in your daily life without changing your lifestyle or bringing a shift in your daily routine.

Making family rules is not only fun but also very useful. Remember as parents you have clear roles to play and you have huge reasonability to prepare a generation ahead. You have to be careful and at the same time not very firm that your children get suffocated by these values.

Whatever family rules you make, share and discuss them your children and their grandparents.  These discussions will be valuable. Finalize your list and post it and discuss it regularly to reinforce those family values and attitudes that you feel are most important. Instead of strictly imposing them on your children, inculcate them in your daily chores and be a role model to your children by evidently practicing these values in front of them.

How are Family Values Taught?


Some families express their beliefs verbally, whether by open discussion, writing them down, or even posting them on the wall.

If a daughter feels offended because her father allows her brother to use the trampoline, it is an example of openly conveying a family value. That could be an excellent chance to explain the importance of sharing in the family.

Perhaps the father might explain, “I know you really want to use the trampoline,” before settling her down. “The only time your brother has requested to use it is today, despite the fact that you have had access to it every day for the previous week. Everyone in the house has a right to the trampoline, and we value sharing as a family. Share this opportunity with your brother. Once he is finished, he will give it to you too, so you may use it once more.”


But by far, the most typical method of passing down sound family values is through nonverbal ways, such as normal daily habits or a yearly ritual. For young children who have not yet mastered verbal communication, this is especially crucial. Consider this: Children observe their parents to learn. Similarly to this, your family members will extrapolate family values from your actions.

As the proverb goes, “actions speak louder than words,” and family values are no exception. Even though you may tell your family members that fairness is essential to you, if you consistently host Christmas dinner at your home despite requests from other relatives to host, your actions may not reflect your principles. Children may find this perplexing, and older family members may perceive you as being dishonest.

Why are family values important?

Happy family hugging outdoors image

1. They support family members in making choices

Making judgments is made considerably simpler as a result of having established and understood your beliefs. Most of the time, you can choose the best course of action when you are aware of your family’s priorities.

2. They guide your parenting

How you raise your kids will also be influenced by your family values. For instance, if equality is a family value, then reading books with your child who has reading difficulties more often makes sense to your other children who do not have reading difficulties.

By defining equity and presenting it as a family value, your other children will understand that behavior rather than finding it unfair that you are spending more time with one child than another. Additionally, it will make parenting and knowing what to do easier for you.

3. They cultivate strong bonds and cohesiveness

Additionally, family values foster a sense of shared identity that you and your relatives can support. This promotes a sense of family togetherness, which improves harmony and reduces stress in the household.

4. They reduce it, particularly for young children

Young children interact with a variety of individuals from different backgrounds as they grow up, such as in a public-school setting. If a child is not aware of their family’s values, this might be a difficult time for them. They will make sense of the world in part through their values.

5. A strong moral compass is built through family values

Children will eventually have to make their own judgments as they become older, and their family values will provide them with a solid moral compass to use as they navigate a world away from home.