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Monday, October 28, 2013

Core values

Sisters can be taught how to get along  :)
Society's views of child rearing seems to change with each passing decade.  The focus shifts depending on current issues of the day.  A look at presidential first ladies gives us a glimpse of this trend.  Nancy Reagan in the 80's used the slogan, "Just say no (to drugs)".  Laura Bush advocated literacy in the 90's.  Hillary Clinton believed, "It takes a village (to raise a child)".  And Michelle Obama is currently promoting against childhood obesity.

While all of these causes are noble and worthwhile, they don't focus on time-tested and tried values and standards that have been proved to produce well-adjusted children and happy families.  Without strong values, taught in the home, families are left to shift with the tide of popular policy and opinion.

What are some of these core values that are so important?  I came up with my own list and then googled the subject and found that all of the values I wrote down were also listed in numerous articles and blogs.  Apparently, these are not radical ideas.  :)

1. Honesty.  How can a society (from the family to a global society) survive without its members being honest?  Being honest is not an excuse for being cruel or harsh. 
2. Respect.  Our children need to learn how to be respectful to their parents, teachers, other adults, younger children and their peers.  I guess that includes just about everyone!
3. Charity.  By this I mean service.  When children are taught how to help other people, they gain a perspective broader than their own little world.  Service also helps children learn...
4. Gratitude.  Being thankful for what you have is a value that we all could improve on!  There is too much of "I WANT!" in our families today.
5. Kindness.  This goes along with respect.  Being unkind hurts.  Children who are kind, find that they have more friends and better relationships with their family.
6. Work.  Whether it's regular chores or periodic jobs, work teaches the concept of following through and being responsible.
7. Obedience.  A two edged sword here.  Blind obedience can get a child into trouble if they trust everyone they come in contact with but being obedient to parents and teachers is absolutely essential to a child's safety and well-being.
8. Humility.  Ok, I didn't see this value listed in the articles I read, but there are too many children who lack this vital trait.  No one likes a cocky, show-off, bragging child.  Being humble reminds children to be thankful.

You're probably not going to see a first lady promoting these core values anytime soon.  It's too bad.  If more parents, leaders and teachers were to address and act upon these values, I think we'd have more children grow up to become happy, contributing members of society. 

So, dear mothers, it's up to us.  Maybe I'll address each value in a separate blog during the next week or so.  It's worthwhile stuff  :)


  1. Love your basics. Not fancy words or unattainable traits. Keep going!

  2. I just today read something by a philosopher (an official one, anyway) about humility. He offered that humility is the most essential human emotion because without it, we are unlikely to change our ways if need be. Survival requires adaptation. I really like this list!