January 16, 2020 4 min read
In this article, we'll discuss:
Positive, productive core values aren’t just for the workplace. Crafting your family's core values will help you create deeper connections with each other, support each other in times of crisis, and make decisions that align with your goals. Shared values will assure your family continues to learn and grow on the same path over many years.
Creating your core values isn’t complicated and can even be fun! Get started here with a little background on core values and practical steps for making a meaningful list of core values that you’ll cherish for years.
Start brainstorming your core values by talking about the different types of values you could incorporate in your list. Pick the types of values that best align with your long-term goals. Here are some you may consider, but don’t feel limited by these examples.
Social values address the kind of society we’d like to live in. They address themes like world peace, social justice, racial and economic equality, and bettering our communities. Examples include:
Your political affiliation probably affects how you’d like to see the government-run and the kinds of laws you’d like to see enacted. For a family, political values may also include:
Financial values help determine how you budget and spend money. Consider how values like these play into your goals.
Self-care and personal well-being are important values that should be considered when drafting core values for your family. They may include:
Having fun together creates family closeness, builds memories, contributes to emotional well-being, and provides learning opportunities. Each family plays differently based on their values. Yours may include:
Work values are about how you perform your chores, your jobs, and how you participate in your education. Examples of work values include:
Moral values are what you think is right and wrong. Examples of moral values include:
Working as a family to come up with a list of core values is a great opportunity to learn more about each other and understand each member’s personal goals. Plan to have several meetings that tackle different values - and always have them in a fun, supportive environment!
As in any brainstorming exercise, there are no bad ideas, and all voices should be heard equally.
Start with a discussion about what is important to your family and each individual member. Take notes on a whiteboard. You can assign a “scribe” to write, or you can pass the marker around to each member, depending on age.
Some questions to get you started include:
Be sure to take a photo of your whiteboard before erasing it so you can refer to these ideas in the following sessions, and take a break after this meeting. Give everyone a week or so to reflect on this conversation before meeting again.
Over the course of several family meetings, brainstorm values associated with different types of values.
Every family’s list of core values will vary. Here’s one example we like:
As your family grows, so will your core values. Allow for change as your children grow older, as your priorities shift, and as the world around you evolves. Your family will be closer and more goal-oriented as a result!
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