Helping parents & caregivers design their own handbook for raising amazing kids.


Defining Family Values

By Emily Mall

Posted on October 2, 2023

People of different ages standing in front of a tree
People of different ages standing in front of a tree
People of different ages standing in front of a tree

In today's fast-paced world, where information is constantly bombarding us from all directions, teaching our children the importance of values has never been more crucial. Family values serve as a compass, guiding our children toward becoming compassionate, responsible, and well-rounded individuals. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the significance of establishing family values and the essential role they play in raising children with integrity, empathy, and purpose.

What Are Family Values and Why Should I Care?

Family values are beliefs, ethics, priorities, and worldviews shared by each family member. These behavior codes create structure, and are helpful in every type of family. They shape the family's identity and guide its members in making decisions and behaving ethically. Values provide the foundation for building strong character in children. They foster a sense of belonging and identity within the family and they act as a moral compass, helping children navigate life's complexities. Children with a strong value system tend to be more resilient and emotionally stable.

Here’s a few instances where having established family values come in handy:

  • Your kid “accidentally” walked out of a store without paying for an item. You aren’t sure if it was intentional. “As a family, we don’t steal. Even if it was a mistake, we value honesty and integrity, so it’s important that you take this back to the store and apologize.”

  • Your kid wants to invite their friends to a treetop climbing birthday party. You remind them that one of their friends is differently-abled and wouldn’t be able to participate. Your kid shrugs and suggests not inviting them. “Inclusivity is important to us as a family and you know it’s one of our values. Can you think of another fun way to celebrate that can include all of your friends?”

  • Your kid gets invited to the neighbor’s birthday party and RSVPs yes. A few days later, your kid gets invited to their closer friend’s party on that same day, at the same time. Because accountability (and honoring promises and agreements) is one of your family’s values, this is an easy decision. Your kid will honor their original agreement with the neighbor, and if it’s important to them, they can figure out a way to celebrate with their closer friend on another day.

What are your family values? Are they listed anywhere, like in a document or in your home for all to see (like your kids' friends when they come over)? Or are they just living as an idea in your head, not shared or said out loud unless you have to dole out correction/consequences? 

If someone asked your kids what your family values were, what would they say? (Mine just said “food” when I asked, so don’t fret over give silly answers). 

If you don’t know what your family values are, it’s never too late to start identifying them.

How Do I Identify My Family Values?

A few ways to begin:

  • Reflect on your beliefs. Is there a particular religion you practice or set of principles you generally follow?

  • Self-reflection as parents. What do you think are the most important things you teach and pass down to your kids?

  • Have a family discussion. Start talking to your family about it at dinner or during car rides. We have a monthly family meeting where we can talk or bring them up when we have a dilemma or issue. 

  • Recognize cultural and societal influences. Just because you grew up with a certain set of family values or in a specific culture or society, doesn’t mean you have to keep them. Use them to help determine what’s right for your family.

Once you’ve identified what’s important to you, create a clear, concise value statement that you can share with your family next time you get together. Talk about it, be open-minded, and agree on each of the values together. If you have younger kids, make sure to use age-appropriate language and keep what you discuss relatable.

We Identified Our Family Values! Hooray! Now what?

Congrats! You’ve earned the “Family Values” badge in parenting! You’re already way ahead of everybody else! 

Now that your family values are clear, here are some things you can do next and how to use them: 

  • Model family values in your own life and be consistent in your behavior

  • Acknowledge and learn from mistakes

  • Reinforce values through play or sports

  • Have age-appropriate discussions, addressing moral dilemmas or just exploring values in the context of daily life

  • Resolve family conflicts respectfully, and use them as teaching moments, promoting forgiveness and reconciliation

  • Guide kids in the face of peer pressure, analyzing media and societal influences, and encouraging critical thinking

  • If family dynamics change, talk about ways to adapt and encourage kids to contribute to the discussion

In a world where our children face an ever-expanding array of choices and influences, family values serve as a steadfast guidepost, helping them navigate with confidence, integrity, and purpose. As parents, our role in instilling these values is not just a duty; it's a gift we give our children to equip them for a lifetime of meaningful, ethical, and fulfilling living. By embracing the journey of values, we ensure that our families are built on a solid foundation of love, respect, and shared principles, creating a positive legacy that spans generations.

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

Get strategies, systems, and support for parents and caregivers raising amazing kids delivered directly to you via email every day.

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

Get strategies, systems, and support for parents and caregivers raising amazing kids delivered directly to you via email every day.

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

  • In your inbox

Get strategies, systems, and support for parents and caregivers raising amazing kids delivered directly to you via email every day.

mom friend aunt coach advisor nanny cousin babysitter neighbor mom godmother doctor grandma dad grandpa uncle mentor therapist sister teacher godfather tutor other

doctor mom coach advisor grandpa grandma babysitter aunt nanny therapist uncle godmother godfather sister dad neighbor brother mentor friend tutor cousin teacher

babysitter therapist advisor cousin godfather dad neighbor teacher nanny mentor brother doctor friend uncle sister tutor grandpa aunt grandma coach mom godmother

advisor friend doctor godfather mentor mom godmother uncle grandma tutor sister neighbor therapist babysitter brother aunt Mom teacher cousin dad nanny coach

mom friend aunt coach advisor nanny cousin babysitter neighbor godmother doctor grandma dad grandpa uncle mentor therapist sister teacher godfather tutor brother

coach mom godfather uncle mentor teacher friend sister godmother therapist tutor advisor babysitter dad grandma cousin doctor nanny neighbor aunt uncle brother

coach friend neighbor advisor grandpa aunt mom uncle babysitter grandma godmother cousin godfather brother doctor nanny sister teacher tutor dad mentor therapist

mom friend dad coach advisor nanny cousin babysitter neighbor godmother doctor grandma dad grandpa uncle mentor therapist sister teacher godfather tutor brother

advisor friend doctor godfather mentor mom godmother uncle grandma dad tutor sister neighbor therapist babysitter brother aunt Mom teacher cousin dad nanny coach

mentor teacher neighbor therapist grandma uncle mom coach nanny tutor friend aunt dad babysitter brother doctor godmother sister advisor grandpa godfather cousin

mom friend aunt coach advisor nanny cousin babysitter neighbor godmother doctor grandma dad grandpa uncle mentor therapist sister teacher godfather tutor brother

doctor dad coach mom aunt friend grandpa grandma babysitter teacher uncle nanny tutor cousin godfather therapist neighbor sister godmother advisor brother mentor

mom friend aunt coach advisor nanny cousin babysitter neighbor godmother doctor grandma dad grandpa uncle mentor therapist sister teacher godfather tutor brother

coach mom godfather uncle mentor teacher friend sister godmother therapist tutor advisor babysitter dad grandma cousin doctor nanny neighbor aunt uncle brother

Hey you! you’re doing a

Great Job!

Helping parents & caregivers design their own handbook for raising amazing kids.

© 2023–2024 Great job. All rights reserved.

Hey you! you’re doing a

Great Job!

Helping parents & caregivers design their own handbook for raising amazing kids.

© 2023–2024 Great job. All rights reserved.

Hey you! you’re doing a

Great Job!

Helping parents & caregivers design their own handbook for raising amazing kids.

© 2023–2024 Great job. All rights reserved.