I have said many times that I want my children to be happy in life, but in order for me to be happy with them, I need for them to have a firm and good set of core values and beliefs, so below are a list of things we are working to instill in them.
Respect for the opposite sex
It is incredibly important for me that the boys, value, cherish and respect girls. That they understand the differences and uniqueness and celebrate them for it. I want the boys to become good men.
To me family is everything, I want the boys to learn to love our family, to understand that we all love each other, even when we do not agree and that our love is unmovable and so will theirs be. That home is a safe haven and will always be just that their home. They should be houses built on a firm foundation.
I want them to understand that you have to work hard to get what you want and need and that there is no shame in putting in 100%, in fact that the more you give often the more you get back. I want them to be determined, tenacious and to strive for things. I want them to come to me with solutions for approval, to look beyond the issues.
Honesty and Integrity
I want the boys to always try and be honest and truthful. I want them to understand that the cornerstone of most relationships is trust. This is a hard lesson, especially as a child, but one that will see them through their whole lives and enrich relationships. I also want them to be honest to themselves.
Love and friendships
The more we give the more we receive, to be loved is the most precious thing in life. To have firm friendships and develop close bonds. I want them to learn to trust their intuition regarding their friends and to be good friends to each other too. To learn that showing affection is a good thing and should be expressed.
This is a hard one, but I hope to instill in them the ability to enjoy peace and quiet, not only in the world around them, but to find it in themselves. To be aware of the stillness, openness and potential of intentional silence and not find the need to fill the spaces.
I want them to respect their elders, to know when to open doors and step back, but I also want them understand respectfulness, to take peoples feelings, needs, thoughts, ideas, wishes and preferences into consideration, To grow to understand that respect is earned by their actions and reactions.
For me this means teaching what goes around comes around and that they should treat people how they would wish to be treated. That it is OK to empathise with someone, but that sometimes compassion requires an action.
Responsibility and accountability
To understand that they have a choice of what to do with their lives, but that choice comes with a cost, that they have to be not only , responsible but accountable for their actions and to learn to understand the difference.
As my mum will say, manners cost nothing, but mean so much. Please and thank you are sacred words in this house. Please may I have, not I want. It is amazing what a difference a turn of phrase can make. Holding open a door, not pushing past someone. Manners maketh the man and in my boys case I really hope this is true. I feel that they can get away with being a little cheeky if they have the manners to back it up.
So for us the next challenge is how to keep instilling these essences in to the boys. How to reinforce our messages and help them become the men that I hope they have the poential to be. I am a great believer of behaviour breeds behaviour, so a lot of the time, I try and do as I say and lead my example, but it is not always as easy.
What values do you want your children to have and how are you working on instilling and teaching them to them?