I know this website is entitled “Conservative Moms.” But, the truth is, left or right, conservative or liberal, there are certain positive values and attitudes we ALL want to instill in all of our kids, so that they grow up to be good human beings and positive, productive members of society.
Remember, children are like little sponges — they pick up everything they hear and see you do. If you want your kids to have good, moral, positive values, you must have them, practice them, and model them for your little ones.
Research has shown that the values kids are shown at home, and brought up with, are the ones that will stick with them the rest of their lives, and the ones they will model for their own kids someday.
So, in no particular order, here are the values and attitudes that you hope will be a legacy for your children, and your children’s children, and your children’s… well you get the picture!
All kids pick up lying from somewhere–it’s not your fault. Many professionals call it a childhood defense mechanism for fear of a painful punishment. So don’t let a family member’s fear of telling the truth get in the way. Talk about the importance of honesty and let them know that you will always be there to listen, and understand and reward the real courage it takes to tell the truth.
Please, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me — are the words you do always want to hear. And they are not just saved for the kids. Use them boldly in front of your kids to show them the value of respecting everyone…and that includes bodies, property, and the opinions of your spouse and the kids too!
So, what to do if your child is given a gift, but throws it in disgust, sulks, whines, or delivers no appreciative thank you? Don’t make a big deal over it, just say “oh, my, you forgot to say thank you for thinking of me”. Or, bring it up later and say “we always say thank you for a gift, even if we don’t like it or want it. Because, whoever gives it to you tried to think of you with kindness and love and thought you would like it.”
Too often kids say “just a sec, just a minute, not now…” Do they hear that all the time at home and so copy it all? You need to model generosity. But generosity isn’t only about money. You need to be generous in all ways, such as with time for sharing, giving to others instead of always being self-absorbed. Plan to regularly donate food, clothes, toys to hospitals, foster homes shelters. Or, plan times to give your time to school volunteer events, charity drives that can be a family activity. Plan for shared family helpful hands for chores time.
Gratitude and Appreciation
It’s so easy to focus on the disappointments and failures and take for granted all those moment by moment blessings. Even things like a smile or the weather, waking up feeling healthy are always available blessings to be grateful for, in front of your kids.
A wonderful tradition is to begin both breakfasts and dinners with each family member offering something to appreciate, be thankful for. At the end of the day, the tradition could be directed to an appreciation for something or some person just from that day’s events.
Do the Buddy Game. At breakfast, or first thing in the morning, everyone’s name goes into a hat and each pulls a name to do nice things for that person all day. It could also be a secret buddy.
One thing I like–is a nice way to make sure verbal appreciations and compliments are made. At the appointed family time everyone offers a “one thing I like about you”…compliment to everyone else.
Each of us is unique, beautiful, special–no duplicates even twins are each unique. But we all do need to be reminded about our specialness, our individuality. Talk about what makes up this uniqueness, be conscious of exploring passions, interests, qualities–and that goes for yourself and your spouse. Differences in everyone are there to be appreciated. It’s what is on the inside that counts.
Your kids should embrace their own uniqueness as a value, and value uniqueness in others.
Unfortunately, life is not always fair, and everyone gets wronged along the way. Sometimes it’s accidental, sometimes intentional, and sometimes it just is the way it is. Everyone is hurt in some way by being wronged. But of course, it doesn’t help to be vengeful, spiteful, bitter, and demonstratively angry to hurt in kind, but best to move on. Holding on to past grudges are traps that take power over you. Teach your kids instead to forgive.
Compassion is a great family value, and obviously difficult because it’s not easy to deal with the hurt of being wronged. All the more reason to have both compassion for the family member who was hurt, and spend enough time to show a way to move beyond this stage.
Many health professionals recommend that you let your kids know that you are not perfect, and can make mistakes, and sometimes others’ feelings are hurt, even in your own family. But the important thing is for forgiveness and compassion.
Empathy is very closely related to compassion, you cannot, nor should not, have one without the other. Being aware of how the other person feels is so important to all communication and getting along with one another. Tune in to facial expressions, body language, tone of voice. Being able to do this well is really a lifelong process and one both kids and grownups might always work on.
Laughter is the best medicine, then, now, always. It’s been studied–from smiles on up to laughter conventions. That’s right, people enroll in laughter classes to reap the across the board physical, emotional, mental and health benefits from laughing. Laughter gives you increased resistance to disease, better digestion, improved immune function. It has been shown a sense of humor brings a heightened sense of self-esteem, likeability by peers and co-workers, and ease in handling difficulties and challenges in life.
This is the one value on this list that your kids can teach YOU! Children are always able to rebound and laugh. They’re not so serious, because to them, life is all about playing and everywhere is a playground, and they can find something to laugh about anywhere, anytime.
Essential to great family life is laughing, telling jokes. Get to know all the things that make your children and spouse laugh, chuckle, smile, and use them to strengthen family ties. Sharing a laugh can ease into better conversation and even serious communications.
There may be perfect 10’s in “Dancing with the Stars” or the Olympics, but most of the time we, and the things around us are not perfect. However, it is always the journey, the going with drive, persistence, stick-to-it-ness that gets all those lovely and enjoyable results and accomplishments along our life long path.
All joy and enjoyment, great family living centers on passion for the enjoyment of things, the wonderfulness of things, for having dreams and wishes, excitement about life.
Passions are what drives you and the kids to always be better.
Children have it naturally, you can see how passionate a child can be about an ant, or the never-ending sky. Praise, encourage, that enthusiasm and passion–and don’t be afraid to find your own and show your passions to the kids, too.
Research has shown that your thoughts are powerful. Your positive thinking becomes who you are. So speak with positive ways to your kids even when reprimanding such as “chairs are for sitting” rather than “don’t stand on that chair.”
Say “I will, I can” as often as possible rather than “I can’t.”
Solve a problem instead of complaining. It’s a great family bonding time to bring a simple problem–even one you make up–to the dinner table to brainstorm on ways to solve it.
Yes, we have ups and downs. As famed pastor and Congressman, Adam Clayton Powel used to say, “Keep the faith, baby,” Whether you are old enough to remember him or not, or even know who he is, not getting down, but having faith that the sun will shine, the tide will come in is a proven way to bring on happiness–and great family living.