The conflict and chaos in the world today have brought priorities and values into the limelight. Whether you agree with the values and priorities portrayed by various groups and leaders or not, we are all forced to stop and reflect. What priorities do I want to pass on to my children? What values do I want them to learn? How do I model those priorities and values in my daily life? And how do I teach them to my children? Those are tough questions that require reflection and thought. Let me share some of the priorities and values I deem important for family. Wait…on second thought, my daughters are young adults now. Let me ask them what priorities and values they learned from my wife and me. Perhaps their answers will shed light on our practical values rather than my “philosophical ideals.” So, I asked them, “What priorities and values did you learn from us?” Their response?
- The importance of quality time spent together. (Discover how to spend quality time with your children and the mundane opportunities for quality time.)
- The importance of communication. (Talk to your children, change their brain, and their behavior!)
- The love of learning.
- The importance of being intentional in relationships.
- The importance of caring, kind, and loving toward everyone, even those different than you. (Just for fun, check out This Is Your Brain on Kindness for motivation toward kindness. Then take this challenge for families of teens.)
- The value of service.
- The value of joy and laughter. (Discover what joy and laughter can do for your child’s friendships in Helping Your Child Become likeable: A Barrel of Fun.)
- The value of silence.
- The value of humor. (Perhaps I should have listed this one first. When I asked my daughters this question, their first answer was “The ratio of ice cream to brownies.” Although a very important priority, it does show the value of humor.) For all you dads out there, don’t forget the power of the “dad joke.”
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. What priorities and values would you add to the list? What priorities and values do you want your children to learn from you? How do you model them for your children to see?