What are family values? They are the collective values that guide you as a family unit. Knowing your family values can be the key to success and growth with your people. If you do not know what is guiding your decisions and actions, how do you expect to move in the direction you want? In a world of hustle and grind messages, it is easy to go into auto-pilot. But you were made for a fuller life. To do that, you have to know what you want and what guides you. In this article we will discuss the importance of family values. I will provide questions to help you identify your family values. And, I will give some examples.
When I say “Family values,” I am referring to the core things you want to experience and feel as a family. The things that, no matter what the universe brings your way, you can lean into. Guiding values that help you make decisions and raise the tiny humans in your home.
Prefer to watch? Find the video on this topic at the bottom.
Why are Family Values Important?
Many people go through life reacting. They take on the values they think they “should” have. These people accommodate but may not find their true desires and goals. People tend to take on values from societal messages, social circles, and their upbringing. They find themselves in auto-pilot.
Chelsea Skaggs, Postpartum Together
Life is too short for auto-pilot.
6 Benefits of Identified Family Values
- Your values can guide your big and small decisions.
- Values give you a place to connect and reconnect with your family.
- The relationships, work, social settings you choose are inspired by your values.
- Identifying values gives you confidence with your decisions are not understood or accepted by others.
- These values help you to avoid the comparison trap.
- Values streamline you to the most desirable experiences.
Related: Teamwork as New Parents
Questions to Ask Yourself (and Family Members) To Identify Your Top Values
Identifying your family values can take time and lots of conversation. This is not a one-time talk, but an ongoing foundation for your relationship. Take time to work with these questions and ideas. Allow yourself to think through what you want from life and how that impacts your family. Schedule an ongoing family or couple’s meeting to hash this out over time. As you are working to figure out your values, use these questions to help gain insight.
- On the good and the hard days, how do we want to feel?
- What energy do we want others to get from their time with us?
- What major life changes have felt right? Which have not felt right?
- Think of the people you admire. What qualities do you love most about them?
- When is your family the happiest?
- What causes your family heartache or stress?
Examples of Family Values
When you are working on your list of top family values, you will come up with many things. This is when you get to work to consolidate the ideas and find 3-5 primary focuses. I recommend having the number of driving family values around 3-5.
Here are examples to help you think and to get the conversation going in your home.
Find a HUGE list of value examples here
There are not “right” and “wrong” values to have. And your primary family values probably are not going to be exactly the same as other people. They do, however, help us to know where we want to put our intention and energy. They also can help us find the kinds of friendships and relationships that help us thrive in the ways we want to.
Comparison and Values
We can all agree that comparison sneaks into our lives and can causes us to feel inferior or “not enough.” No matter who it is I talk to, the reality is that we all feel this at times. Usually, this comes from comparing an area of our lives to someone elses. They have more money. More time together. They are more creative with their kids. They are more “fit.” “Comparison is the thief of joy.” As a family and an individual, when you are busy comparing you can’t see and celebrate what is in front of you.
The area you are comparing to, is it even an area that is aligned with your top values? When you find yourself feeling the weight of comparison, ask yourself if you are thinking about your own family values or if you have compared someone else’s’ top values.
Chase goals, hard. But make sure they are YOUR goals that you are chasing.-Chelsea Skaggs (Postpartum Together)
Family Values Help You
Having family values identified does not mean things will be easy. It does mean that you will have a way to evaluate your personal and family growth and success. The foundation of values allows you to communicate with yourself, your family, and with others. It allows you to focus on your own goals and not get distracted by other’s goals. Your values guide you to have healthy boundaries and to set and communicate them well. You are able to seek purposeful, aligned community for yourself and your family with your values guiding you.
If you are working through setting family values, schedule time to have these conversations with your partner (and children if applicable.) Use the guiding questions and think about how you want to build your lives. Continue to evaluate your decisions and where you want to go and grow together. Interrupt the auto-pilot when needed and find confidence in having more power in your life by leading with your values.