Family values, what are they, and why are they important for children and the family unit?
As a father or father figure you are a powerful influence in shaping the beliefs and values of your children, both through what you say, and what you do.
What are family values? Family values define what you as a family, think is important, what is good and how you want to live. Your family values may differ slightly from other families, however, there are some fundamental core values that tend to match within most societies and cultures. Some of the common core values are kindness, trust, honesty, respect, generosity, courtesy and fairness.
Defining, discussing and role modelling your own family values can help your children to make good decisions and healthy choices as they move through their teen years and into adulthood.
They help to define how they should behave in various situations and solidify the bonds within your own family too.
As your children grow and develop, they will be exposed to more outside influences in the way of friends, movies, TV, social media and other online platforms where there are fewer rules and less supervision. Embedding family values from a young age will help a child to deal with external influences as they get older, and to make the right decisions based on the values you have taught them.
- Begin with yourself – ask yourself – how do I want to be remembered as a person? Write down the words. Ask your partner (If applicable) to do the same, and discuss the similarities and differences.
- Now ask – what are the important things I/we want my/our child to be known for as they grow up? Write a list and discuss.
- Talk to your children about the values you think are important – like kindness, trust, honesty, respect and use these words regularly with your children.
- Put these values into action yourself. This is most powerful way to teach your children your family values.
- Discuss with your family why the values are most important (e.g. love, kindness, trust, honesty, respect) and how these values can help the whole family to be happy and make good decisions.
- Use these values to set your family rules. For example: We will all treat each other with respect. We will respect each other belongings. We will all share the load with our chores. We will be honest with each other.