What are the core values you wish to instil in your children?
What are the main qualities or characteristics they will require for adult life?
Why values matter?
Our key role as a parent is to prepare our children for adult life. We need to provide our children with a calm, secure, loving haven. However, we also act as a coach or trainer enabling our children to develop good habits and behaviours that will last a lifetime. Our job is to help our children do well in life, not just school. As a child’s first and most important role model, children will adopt their parent’s values.
What are your core values?
Take some time to sit down and really think about:
- What is important to you in your life?
- What do you deeply value?
- What made you the person you are today?
- What are the main qualities or characteristics you admire in others? Who inspires you?
- How would you define ‘success’ for your child?
- What are your guiding principles?
How can you instil those values in your children?
Defining your core values and sharing your ideas with your partner, enable you to parent in a more purposeful way. Every family has slightly different values. Once you have established what your main ones are, how can you instil them in your children?
- Modelling: Of course modelling your values is very important but just because you are thoughtful, charitable or eat a healthy diet does not mean your child will immediately adopt those values.
- Talking about values: Every time you notice your child or someone else displaying those values talk about it in a positive context. Whether that’s people you know or a story you read about in the news.
- Rules/boundaries: Some values need to have clearly articulated rules that your children are expected to follow until they become an ingrained habit. For example: speaking in a respectful tone, sharing with a sibling, caring for the environment by helping with chores etc
It is not always easy to parent in this way with long term goals. However, one of the greatest thrills as a parent is witnessing your child behaving according to the values you most treasure.