Updated: May 11, 2020
In this month’s session we explored which values we want to pass along to our kids.
It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day moments but when we step back from any situation and ask “What do we want our kids to take away from this experience?” it helps put things into perspective for us.
We started by talking through the values that impacted us and stuck with us from our childhood to help us connect those experiences with the values we believe are important as adults. We then talked about which of these values and others we want to instill in our kids and why they are important. Lastly, we dove into HOW we instill these values in our kids.
It was so enlightening and inspiring to hear how similar we all are and how we take the hard moments from our childhood and turn them into an opportunity to improve on that with our kids.
Lots and lots of great thoughts and ideas this month!!
Some high level thoughts:
In talking about our childhood and the values that stood out most, we realized that the values we want to teach our kids not only stem from things our parents did really well but also things they didn’t do well.
The things they didn’t do well helped us realize how important it is to make sure we don’t do that or we give our kids that which they were not able to give us for whatever reason.
A common theme was that most of us were given a sense of physical safety but not emotional. Most were not comfortable expressing their emotions because their parents didn’t. Many shared that their mom's love was expressed through cooking or buying things or taking them to places. Clarity and meaning was often missing.
This brought a wonderful realization that although each of us came from different backgrounds and places in the world, we all experienced this lack of social-emotional development. This made us wonder if this may be a generational thing... our parents' need to provide us with the physical, monetary and health needs (including knowledge) to make sure we are safe and 'successful.' Some shared that because our parents tried to 'protect' us, they were unable to 'prepare' us for certain things. Our parents felt the need to tell us exactly what to do, instead of encouraging our own creative problem solving skills.
It was also interesting to see that some of us had parents who lived by a different set of values but for some reason we gravitated towards the positive values and those stuck with us. It's as though seeing both sides of it helped us see which one brought more job or happiness.
Values we want to give our kids:
Self Reliance - to help navigate this world on their own
Emotional Intelligence - being in touch with their emotions and feeling comfortable expressing and vocalizing their feelings
Love - teaching them to always act and think from a place of LOVE. Helps us stay true to who we truly are and our higher selves
Honesty - being honest no matter what the cost
Acceptance of Others - being open-minded and respecting others regardless of our differences
Gratitude - being grateful and happy with what we have. Not constantly wanting more.
Generosity - acts of kindness
Independence - empowering them to think, act, question, be curious. Allowing them to be curious and be.
Fun - having fun is an important part of life. Letting them know its important to always remember and practice this.
Importance of Family - always being there for our loved ones and accepting them and forgiving them.
Spirituality - a deeper understanding of who they are and going with the flow.
Balance - not to live in two extremes or feel the need to have too much of anything.
Abundance & Growth Mindset - a belief that there is more than enough for everyone and the ability to naturally see the positive before negative.
Curiosity - foster open minded and curious conversations
Authenticity - honoring each other for who we are and not who we 'expect' or 'want' them o be.
How to instill these values in our kids:
Practicing These Values In Front of Them - One mom shared how almost every week she will bake something and give to a friend or neighbor. Her daughter sees her doing that which helps to instill these values.
Participation - Have our kids participate when we are practicing these values. If we are baking a cake, have them help bake it or have them come with you to drop it off.
Talking About It - Even if we aren’t always doing a great job of living by the value we want our kids to learn, it is important to talk about the process we are going through or when we did live by that value or when we didn’t. Talking about it shows that its something we are prioritizing and striving for.
Be the Student - We feel like we have to be perfect before we can teach our kids. But we can show them growth by showing them that we are also working on ourselves. When we can feel comfortable saying 'I don't know,' we release ourselves from being the expert and can grow and learn with our children.
When you think of your own childhood, which values stick out the most? The good and the bad.
How have those experiences stuck with you? What are the values you want to create for your kids because your parents instilled them in you or didn't instill in you?
How can you start instilling these values in your kids - do them in front of them, have them participate and talk to them about these values even if you haven't perfected them yourself.