As discussed in the Intro blog of this series, most life challenges have hidden opportunities for learning and growth. The one’s that teach us the most tend to be more difficult. This can be a hard lesson to teach our kids, but one of the most valuable.
Take a moment and think back to various obstacles, hardship, and challenges you have endured. What helped you get through it? How have you grown as a result?
Your answers likely reflect some connection to positive values. Perseverance, toughness, love, discipline as well as other values may come to mind. Within the Values Grounded Framework, it is assumed that we all have these positive values deep inside us. Part of growing up involves finding ways to bring these positive values to life – to explore and uncover unique expressions of this goodness within.
Uncover and Discover
It is a life – long process – uncovering and discovering one’s positive values. For some, it comes easier than others. Children who can recognize their positive values and share them with others often navigate life in more successful ways. It is our job as parents to help our kids to uncover and discover their positive values so they are demonstrated in their everyday behavior.
Within our current challenging situation, there are fertile opportunities for our kids to learn more about their positive values. So, how might we help our children uncover and let their values shine?
Here are some practical strategies:
- Talk with your family about the positive values that define you as a family
- Write the values down and post them in a visible place within your home
- Ask your kids if they would color and spice up the values to make them more noticeable
- Ask you kids to name at least one behavior that demonstrates each value (this makes is more real for them)
- During each day of homeschool, feature one of your family’s values
- Ask your children to identify one way the can demonstrate this value through their behavior that day (parents can do the same)
- During meal time, ask how they did in practicing the value
- Ask them to identify 3 things they are grateful for each day
- Teach gratitude, generosity, kindness, and servitude
- Ask your kids to make thank you cards for our front line medical teams
- As part of the school day, bake a cake together and drop off for hospital personnel
- Ask your kids to do an extra chore at home each day and use the allowance to donate to a homeless shelter
- Talk with you kids regularly about their values – at first it may be a bit awkward, but stick with it as they need you to help them uncover and discover their values
- Help your kids uncover how behaving according to their positive values makes them feel
- Ask them questions like, ‘how did it feel on the inside when we dropped off the donation to the homeless shelter?’ or ‘how did it feel to be respectful to your brother?’
What other ideas do you have?
The more you talk about your values the more visible they become. Rather than being defined by your stressful circumstances, be defined by the positive values that grow out of these challenges.
In the prior blog on the 5 C’s, I identified how to use consequences as a means to teach about positive values. Please refer to the section on ‘linking.’