Creating and embracing family values

Family values are the backbone to a healthy family.

Family values are the foundation that guides us. They are created from the morals, integrity and rules on how we live our life. These values dictate how we parent, manage money, deal with relationships and more. Many human development specialists and studies have written on the importance of family values and morals. Values teach what the household believes is right and wrong.

Parents and caregivers can do a number of things to pass on family values to their children. For family values to work, they need to have worth and value to everyone in the household. They are about teaching and if you are not practicing what you preach, then you are creating a double standard. For example, if “no swearing” is a rule then you should not swear. If you tell your children one thing and then you do the opposite, you have decreased the worth of the moral or value. The chances of your children adopting that moral or value will become less.

Family rituals are another meaningful way to create family values. These rituals can be as simple as eating a meal together every day, celebrating birthdays, holidays or other special life events. Family values are shared by having discussions about current events or situations your child is exposed to in everyday life. Try not to isolate your child too much. Gradually, expose them to different situations in society and help them learn how to deal with conflicting values. You then can have great conversations on how everyone has different sets of values and morals.

Values give families a guide on how they live their life. It influences decision making, relationships, influences judgment and behavior. As parents and caregivers, family values protect our kids against making hurtful decisions in the future.

Take some time as a family and think about what your family morals and values are, and embrace them to the fullest. Michigan State University Extension offers the Nurturing Parenting program that covers the topic of family morals and values. To find a class near you visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/topic/info/managing_relationships

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