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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.