So I am kind of beginning this series of blogs in the middle. Well the not the middle, but its definitely not at the start or where all this began, so I apologize for that now because the thing is, if I don’t start somewhere I am never going to start so – sorry, not sorry.
In a nutshell over the past year we began having family meetings on a Sunday and as the family member organising the meetings I decided that we as a family needed a vision and a set of values to live by. I wanted to define family rules but felt we needed to narrow down our values in order to develop concise, simple rules.
As a family, we narrowed down and debated through a list of 400 values* and edited this down through voting and elimination to just six that we felt were most important to us as a family (I’ll let you know what they all are at the end). But after a few days of following them I realised that although they were a great list, we were definitely missing out on two that only my husband and I had chosen within the elimination process. Respect and Responsibility.
I thought that I would introduce each new value to our family in a weekly or monthly process, where during those weeks we explored what the value looks like, sounds like and feels like in our family. I really want to define each of these values so that we have a clear understanding between us of what each one means to us as a collective. I also want them defined as I recently watched a webinar that advised an alternative to rule setting. Their idea was to use just one word instead of a sentence for a family rule – which because we have defined our family values is pure genius!
During our last family meeting I chose to introduce the value of Respect. In hindsight perhaps we should have taken a vote to decide which value we all wanted to start with but during this meeting I realised through asking questions that my children although familiar with the word had a hard time describing what respect looked, sounded and felt like….. which totally excited the teacher inside me, but totally disappointed the mother who realised she obviously hadn’t taught this concept very well to her children. So to immerse my family in learning about this concept** of respect so that we not only know how to be respectful, but are able to articulate exactly what it is, I am getting my teacher on. If you would like a free copy of the above posters click here for a link to my drop box!
As a teacher I know that we all learn differently (Gardener’s Multiple Intelligences) and that sometimes we need to be shown something in many different ways to ‘get it’. So some of the ideas I have are listening to music and songs with the most obvious being Aretha Franklin’s song RESPECT, watching and discussing the plethora of YouTube videos I quickly googled on the subject of teaching respect, finding movies for our family movie night that have a strong focus on the subject, creating individual ‘respect’ goals every morning at breakfast, putting quotes about respect up and around our house, discussing and learning about the differences and similarities of respect in regards to different cultures….. these are just some thoughts and I will hopefully blog about each step as we do them.
And without further ado the final eight values we chose as a family were – in no particular order….
Respect, Responsibility, Empathy, Celebration, Kindness, Blamelessness, Gratitude and Teamwork.
I just also want to add that these are fluid values, meaning I have no intention of keeping any or all of these if they are not working for our family especially as our kids grow and our needs as a family change.
So do you have family values or are interested in creating family values or have any ideas for immersing my family in the value of respect over the next few weeks, leave me a comment.
*Just have to do a shout out to The Parenting Junkie, Avital the creator of the Parent in Love course where I was first introduced to this list of over 400 Values and for her inspiration. Unfortunately on this day (17/10/18) as I post I cannot see any links to her Parent in Love course, which I believe is only offered at certain times of the year.
** Concepts are hard for children to learn because they are not physical things you can touch and feel to describe. They are a culmination or collection of understandings, experiences and connections that we as human beings make within our thoughts. They are mental representations.