values in real life

Values. we’ve picked them. Let’s figure out what’s next, shall we?

{and if you haven’t quite made it to choosing your 11 yet, no worries. hop right over here and start. all you need for today is one.}

Now that you have one value – and it is written down somewherefor example, on a calendar, what do we actually do with it? Here are some ideas. {with the starting ages for it in parentheses}

  • Model it. A lot. over and over. And this may seem like you aren’t actually doing much. au contraire. You are showing your child what matters most. You are leading by example and this is one of the most important things you’ll do as a parent throughout their lives. {this will be your primary work with munchkins up to age 18 months}
  •  Build in understanding. Talk about this value. Over and over. Talk about it in the car, talk about it at the table. Each night at dinner return to the value. Did anyone see it happen today? Did anyone feel it? did anyone do it? Head to the library to find stories with characters who live this value. Google the news for real-life examples. Tell stories from your own childhood. Talk about how you learned it, or struggled with it, and why it came to matter to you. Have your kiddos contact friends and family who live far away. How do they explain this value, and how do they live it?  show them all the little ways this big value shows up in your lives. {start with toddlers and the preschool set}
  •  add in action. Where does this value live in your family? in the house? How will you highlight it? Hang it on the wall? post-it-note-it on the bathroom mirror? How will you recognize it in action? How will you make it a daily or weekly practice? How can we express this value to those around us? How can we take it out into the community? Talk with your kiddos and plan together. Can you find a way to do this value out in the world some way this week? calendarize it. {add this in as they head towards elementary ages}


Still wondering about all of this? A bit stuck on how to take action? Hop on over to our FB group for support, discussions, and ideas.


in our family…

Last week I gave each of my children {ages 13 and 8} a copy of the 101 values list, asking them to each pick their own 11 most important values. [as the unwitting beta-testers for Summer of Love v.2015, they are trying things out for next year].

As a freshly minted teenager, my son’s list was sparse and to the point. He circled exactly 11. And they exactly reflected where he is developmentally – they were all about independence, solitude, and also, wisely enough, about rest.

His eight-year-old sister took a totally different tact. For her, it was about casting the net wide, and then refining it. Her original picks numbered over 30. Then she went through and assigned rankings – either a 1 or a 2. The twos were set aside. Finally she carefully combed through the ones, weighing each possible value, measuring their worth. It was fascinating to listen to her decision making process. Education got crossed off because it is already on our standing list of family values {this will be a later part of the summer of love}. For her, curiosity was close enough to wonder that it was set aside. Eventually, after lots of agonizing, she finished her 11.

Out of 22 kid-picked values, only one overlapped. When you are 13, it is about jumping in, taking risk, boldly trying something new. When you are 8, and you are often times asked to developmentally play up, it means acknowledging when you are scared, nervous, overwhelmed. and then doing it anyway.

Bravery. One value. clearly different meanings. Equally important to each. It’s where we begin.

As for me? my act of bravery this week was in the kitchen {which, if you know me, is no surprise- it is a place I need to be brave more often} — making sushi. This values work? Turns out it is delicious.



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