I’ve put off this post because I always hesitate in sharing our values because they are so personal and unique to each individual and family. And while I do share some of ours when I speak, I sometimes hesitate for fear that there will be comparison, that someone will think “ooh that’s a good one, that should totally be one of our values”. But, NO we don’t do “shoulds”; your values are YOUR values. The deeply held behaviors and beliefs that you consider to be most important.
But as I do write about keeping our values in alignment and our first things first, I figured you should probably know what they are so that you can hold me accountable to them too.
My husband and I have gone through the Aligned Parenting Workbook together and though it took us a little while we have been able to really focus on what we want our family to be about most.
Our faith is our most important value so much so that we don’t even count is as one of our top 5 because it’s so integral to everything we do.
We value Kindness and you’ll hear me say the word multiple times a day. Usually something like “there are enough mean people in the world; in this home we practice KINDNESS!” We believe it represents love and respect through actions and attitude.
We value Simplicity. My husband and I hope to one day live in an Airstream or a tiny house. We don’t like clutter and I start to get very anxious when I feel like we have too many “things”. Material possessions are not bad they are just really not what we want to be about and can take away from other more meaningful experiences so we really do value living with less.
I often share about how there was a season when we would have said traditional education one of our values but we really pushed deeper and discovered that it’s Learning & Growth that we value. We want to raise and want to BE life-long learners and that isn’t limited to an educational environment, it’s a way of life and one of the reasons we’ve chosen to homeschool. We love learning together.
We believe in the importance of Responsibility and encourage a strong work ethic. We provide opportunities to display responsibility for each family member’s space and belongings and encourage our kids to take on roles where they can grow and take on additional responsibilities. We also highly “encourage” our kids to take jobs as soon as they are able to during their teen years and although they were not always super excited about it, our young adult children have now expressed that it was a great benefit as they have been able to find work much more easily now that they have had years of work experience.
We value Perseverance and Grit. We live in a culture that values instant gratification but we have chosen to live counter-culturally in that respect and teach our kids to develop perseverance and passion for long-term goals. We want them to be able to stick with and pursue their goals and not give up at the first challenge they encounter.
Those are OUR family’s primary top 5. Some of our secondary values include Margin, Adaptability and Resourcefulness. I would also add “adventure” for my husband (he’s very outdoorsy) and “creativity” for myself (I’m less outdoorsy but I like to create things).
So what do we do with them?
I know some families get really creative and get their “words” posted to display proudly in their home. Which I totally love!
We haven’t done that, I actually just have mine written on a post-it note in my planner (because SIMPLICITY remember?) so that I can have it handy when I consider new opportunities, activities or commitments and my husband keeps our list on his phone as a reminder.
We periodically re-visit our list to make sure that those are still the values that we want to focus on as we know they may change but for this season that’s our list. That’s the framework through which we sift our time and decide what to take on and what to set aside for a time.
We can’t be about EVERYTHING, no matter how hard we try so instead we try to focus on a few values we can be intentional about practicing and living out well.
Do you know what your top 5 are? If not, consider joining us for the Aligned Parenting Summer Book Club where we’ll dig deeper into identifying our family values and creating a home culture that aligns our actions with our “most importants”.
We kick off on June 12, sign up below or head over HERE for more info!