Updated: Aug 19, 2020
" Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter " Brad Henry
What values were you raised with?
I was raised to be polite, honest hardworking.
When I had grown up and started a family of my own, I knew that values would be a strong part of our lives but the hardest part was how do you decide what values are the most important and what do you want your children to value?
When you are with a partner and/or married it's interesting to have this conversation and talk about the values in your life that were important to you and why when you grew up, and perhaps what values your family had that you didn't like so much. It helps you to collaboratively make decisions in your own life and that of the person you are having a family with and consider different angles and perspectives so you can understand what is important to you both and why.
Sometimes we have to live and experience things before we know what it is we really want in our lives that we hold value to.
Where some of my most important values came from
I joined the Church of Latter Day Saints when I was 12 and left when I was 23.
My husband joined the church when he was 24. He joined the church because of the values of one family he spent a lot of time with. The value was Family. He saw the relationships that the parents had with their children and coming from a broken home he knew that he wanted a strong family. He wanted to meet someone who held these values close to their heart. We met each other when I was 20. Religion was not for us. But we found the church and we found each other and that was what mattered.
When we were married we wanted the same thing. A strong family. We both held that value.
Having grown up throughout the church in my teenage years I only realise now looking back what an important impact it actually had on me. It wasn't specifically the religion. What I was interested in were not the religious concepts,although they were interesting but the values. I learned strong values growing up in the Church that I didn't learn anywhere else. I learned to value myself and others opinions, I made friends that had the same values, I learned to respect myself and my body, I learned how to communicate with different people in diverse situations, I learned what it felt like to be part of a community. I learned about what things in the outside world could have an impact on my mind and thoughts, I learned how to be a teacher, I learned how to do a talk in front of people. I learned how important it was to visit people and let them know that you care, I learned to get on with different types of people. I was able to use my talents and gifts and share them within this community, such as playing the piano for singing, singing at someone's baptism or helping someone who was moving house who needed help. Service for others. I really enjoyed these aspects and they have become a really big part of the values that have stayed with me and made me the person that I am. I was invited to peoples homes for dinner and for fun, we would share stories, and talk about our experiences and there were camps and activities we got to go on. We would sing Christmas carols at Christmas and visit peoples homes and sing to them. I have the most lovely memory in my teenage years when I was about 15 and me and a group of youths went to an old lady's house and we all stood in her living room singing songs and she got up and danced and smiled in the middle of us. I really felt something in my heart that was just the feeling of doing something good for others and doing it with others, community. It has always stayed with me and I remember it fondly. The biggest value I took with me was that of family. Coming from a broken home myself, the Church was a breath of fresh air at times. Full of un perfect people who seemed to be trying their best to be better. It never really crossed my mind but I do remember a time when we talked about the type of person we would want to marry in one of the lessons we had, I remember very clearly in my mind thinking it would be someone kind and loving more than anything else! That was the most important thing to me. Little did I know I was manifesting my husband right at that moment! It was years later till we met but I already knew what was important because I had the value already close to my heart.
I am very grateful for the experiences I had during this 10 years of my life as it played a big part in shaping who I am today.
These values have stayed with me. The Churches emphasis on Family has led me to always keep this close to my heart in everything I do and how I show up in the world and has also very much become part of who I am in both my personal and professional work too.
How do you create your family values?
First you need to sit down and chat with your partner about the values you had in childhood. Talk about what you thought of them, were they stuck to? Did you like them? Did they help you in anyway? discuss the why's and the positives and negatives.
Secondly which do you want to keep and why?
How do you manifest these values? How do you show your children that these are important and that they are a part of what makes them a strong family?
It's important to think about what values are an absolute priority for you as a family. For example if Family meals are really important, (which they are!) how many times a week can you sit together and eat?
For example this is one of ours as it is the one time we are together each day where we can communicate and be together. We can't eat together at weekends because I work long hours but we eat together every week night between 5 and 6.
Who makes our Family work? Who makes it strong?
Strong families are the ones who have taken the time to work out what is important and they live by the values they create.
They make time for what is important, they are there for one another and they take time to check in with one another.
They take time to make time for communicating with the ones they love and they notice and know what is happening in their family.
They take time to discuss what changes needs to be made, what they are struggling with and how they can get there.
Family life in the 21st Century is not easy.
We are facing so many outside influences that stop us from creating this sanctuary that our home should be.
When we are tired we can easily make decisions hastily just because it feels easier to do that than stand by our values.
Values are not rules, they are there to remind of of what is important to us.
Values help us to stay strong and to make time for what is important even if it takes more time.
There is no easy fix, we must have values in place because they are the compass, they are the guide that reminds us where we are going and why we do those things.
We have the values and live them because they make a difference to us.
We needs strong values and families now more than ever.
The world is feeling so crazy busy on the outside, our homes needs to become the havens where we can relax from the outside world. With technology this can become increasingly difficult.
This is why we need those values to be created so they can guide us.
If we say I want a strong family, then we have to work at that, as each family becomes stronger we can build stronger communities.
What happens in our homes on a daily basis matters truly, truly matters. It matters to us, it matters to our children and it matters to our communities and wider societies.
What we do at home changes the world home my home because we really are one big family anyway but it all starts at home.
I cannot re iterate the importance of this and why it is one of the most important things we will ever do in our lives is raising a family.
We must take the time to consider our choices and how they impact us, our children and the world.
Because everything we do impacts someone and that someone impacts someone else and someone else....
It takes commitment, time, energy and love to have a strong family. A strong family starts with strong values.
It also helps if you are always open to personal growth, growing yourself, raising yourself into the best version of you and you evolve together and grow together.
I think about my family a lot. I put a lot of work into my family because I believe that Family is important. It is more important to me than anything else. So all the choices I make are central to my little Family unit, and being this little unit it can and will expand to other members of my Family. But we have to focus on the one we have at home the most first.
I think about how I can communicate better, how I can meet my needs and theirs, what needs to be done. My husband is always thinking about how to make our lives better, to always make sure we are comfortable and have what we need. Our time we give to one another is that of caring, time and effort.
If I could choose 3 words that represent my little unit they would be Create, Play and Love.
Creating a Family Manifesto or Family Mission Statement
A family Manifesto is like having all your core beliefs and values written up and put somewhere central in the Family home to always be a reminder of what you stand for and what you family values are.
I thought that this initially was super cheesy but the more I understand about raising children, the more I understand how everything we do matters. We are our children's greatest example. If we want to create a generation of children who really value family then we really need to push ourselves into making more effort into our families. We can't do everything at one, but day by day moment by moment we can grow and learn and thrive by taking time to do the things that matter.
To do this, we do need to have conversations and really dig deep. The time we take to work on ourselves and our family values is never wasted.
Having family photographs on the walls was something I always found of importance, it signifies to the child where they belong, and so thinking about that brings me Joy in thinking how the manifesto also makes a big impact too.
Even if your children can't read yet, if you hang something with pride in a special place and talk about the values with your children. They will feel safe in the knowledge that they are part of something really special.
Our Family Manifesto - Create, Play, Love.
F - Find time for one another
- Follow your heart
- Find Joy in the simple, everyday moments
- Fill up your Self - Care cup
- Fun - Have Fun and express yourself
A - Ask Questions and be curious
- Attitude of Gratitude
- Always remember that you are safe, loved and appreciated
M - Make Nature a priority - be in it everyday
- Muster the courage to share your talents in your community
- Make things from nature and for others with your hands
- Make others feel special
I - Imagine, Play, Create and Fix to your hearts content
- In our home and community we celebrate though out the seasons
- Inspire others
- It's OK to fail - try again and evolve and grow
L - Love yourself
- Love others
- Learn about the world and what you are interested in
- Laugh, sing and dance everyday
- Listen before you respond or react
- Listen to yourself and others
- Learn about each other, be together and eat meals together
Y - Say Yes to new things
- You make a difference to someone
- You make the world a better place just by being in it
I would love to hear about your conversations with your family about values and if you have created a family manifesto I would love to see it!
Lot's of love