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12 Lifelong Family Values to Impart to your Children

Mother to a teenage stepson, a young daughter and a newborn.. I am taking one step at a time.

What are your values?

The older you get the more you realize the importance of family life. As a child, if your needs are met, you may overlook or take for granted all the time effort, and active improvement that is required to maintain and upkeep a household. Now, satisfying the physical needs of your children is a fundamental duty that you must fulfill. But what makes a bad parent is not looking after the emotional and mental needs of your offspring. Being a parent is a tough job especially if this is your first child. Starting a family is a decision that you and your partner made together so you are probably aware of the responsibilities that it comes with.

If you are worrying about whether you are a bad parent, then you probably are a pretty good one. Bad people usually do not think they are bad. The fact that you are concerned and want what is best for your child proves your good parenthood. Family life is extremely important. In a world where everyone is trying to achieve higher and higher levels of wealth and prestige, work on the quality of your relationship with the ones closest to you. The kind of childhood that we have alters our entire life. Intimidating as a parent right? Well, we are here to help go over some of the basic values and principles you can impart to your children to make them a better person.

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Family values are beliefs among a household regarding what is right and what is wrong. Every family gives emphasis and importance to different values. The core morals on which the foundation of the household is built are crucial to the future betterment of your children. Before you begin to impart these values you need to understand where your own moral fiber lies. The morals of your children will be an amalgam of you and your partner’s beliefs. So sit down together and clearly outline what kind of example you wish to set for your little ones.

I will recommend taking an online test to figure out what values are most essential in your home.

Family Values in a Traditional (American) Family

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1. Honesty

This is an age-old value that is taught to most children as soon as they are capable of understanding. If you lie one time, you will have to be dishonest countless times after that to make your story seem consistent. One can get caught up in the mess of lies and have to ultimately face humiliation. You must make sure your children are aware that honesty truly is the best policy.

2. Faith

Most American families follow the Christian faith. If you are someone who wants to encourage your child in religious contexts, this is a value you cannot ignore. Belief in God and Jesus Christ is popular in traditional families. Regular church visits can help in bringing your child closer to God.

3. Respect

Respect is one of the most fundamental values that are necessary for every home, whether traditional, modern or somewhere in between. Treating your elders with high regard is very crucial. It teaches your child to treat people well. Whoever will come their way in adulthood, will notice the values you paid attention to. Out of all the values mentioned in this list, respect for not just elders but everyone that comes your way is very essential.

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4. Loyalty

In a traditional home, divorce and separation of the parents were looked down upon and considered a major taboo. In some cultures, it was thought that God would be angry with people who chose to split up. So, affairs and infidelity are looked down upon. Families like to make sure they are raising children who will grow up to respect the sanctity of a commitment even if it is not marital or romantic. Loyalty to members of the family is also highly encouraged.

On a personal note, this is a value that I struggle with. I held on dearly to my abusive relationship due to loyalty and paid a price for it. My current relationship is healthy and I appreciate the grit to commit to a relationship, regardless of the ups and downs we experience in marriage. As such, be aware of your values and access them based on your situation.

Values to Move with Times

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5. Self Confidence

With the rise in the use of social media, children can become shy and insecure. There are so much media and information and everything is moving at such a fast speed that it can be hard to keep up. Your child should believe in themselves from a young age. Due to this, they will be confident individuals who can make heads turn when they enter a room. Doubting their capabilities as a child will create obstacles in their path in the future. Encourage and support even the smallest of things. It can go a long way.

6. Responsibility

Children should be taught how to be independent and stand on their feet. Help them understand their responsibility to submit their homework on time. Enforce participation in domestic chores, especially for boys. Teach your kids to contribute to the household so they can learn to contribute to society.

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7. Politeness

First impressions are how people form opinions of us. A good first impression can lead us to tremendous and prosperous opportunities. You must teach your children the manners that will one day get them to great heights. Teach them how to interact with people. Handling people might be the greatest skill one can have in terms of business as well as personal life.

8. Hard Work

Nothing good comes free of cost. As a parent, you should inculcate a good work ethic in your children. How they treat their responsibilities at an early age is crucial. Encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and push their own limits as this is the only way growth occurs. Although supporting them to do more and reach for the stars can be your way of helping them, it may not always be beneficial. Check-in with your child and their comfort. Hard work and courage are important but the child’s mental health should be given priority in this matter.

Family values in a modern family

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9. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to see the world from another person’s point of view. To be able to put yourself in someone’s shoes especially if they are drastically different from you is a quality to treasure. It makes people kind and understanding. Compassion for other people will make your child a better person. It will draw them to have more friends and be very likable. Your young one should learn to kind an ounce of sympathy and love for even the toughest of people.

10. Tolerance

The major difference between traditional and modern family values is tolerance. What starts wars, breeds hate crime, and is the root of most violent acts is the lack of tolerance for people different than you. This may be in terms of religion, race, social status, sexuality, gender, and more. Unjust discrimination is widely causing harm in our society. Make sure your child accepts and respects people who have varying lifestyles, cultures, and opinions.

It is important that YOU and the surrounding adults are a good example as well. Whatever you casually mention in your conversation matters as your child will pick up your mannerism and lingo. A real example: My sister in law is Asian and she was making a (racist) joke about her own race, my daughter picked it up and I had a concerning text from her teacher thereafter!

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11. Boundaries

Privacy and personal space should be promoted in a modern household. Children should be taught that no one (not even your parent) has a right over your body, your time, or your belongings. Your children must be capable of voicing when they are uncomfortable with something. Even if it doesn’t seem like a big deal at the moment, it may cause serious damage to the child.

12. Open Communication

Lastly, if you want to have a good relationship with your child, this step is essential. Establish ways of communicating openly with your child. If a parent yells or scolds a lot to get their point across, the child will gradually become more and more hesitant to share their opinions, thoughts, and experiences with you. Be accepting that sometimes your children will do things you do not approve of but reassure them that you still love them and nothing they tell you can change that. Setting this healthy example will make every future human relationship they have so much better.

Quotes on Family Values

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Brand Henry, an American politician, commented on the importance of family life:

“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”


From a modern viewpoint, a lot of the concepts regarding a good household have changed for the better. A wise person once said:

“A family is a family not because of gender but because of values like commitment, trust and love.”


Benjamin Todd phrased the key to establishing a solid foundation in your home, in the following words:

“Let us nurture the practice of family values, by embracing policies that value families.”

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Summary

Family values are deeply personal to every household. Depending upon what the couple values, their home will be modified accordingly. This is just a guideline to aid you in making those tough decisions and choosing what lessons you wish to pass on to your children. To some extent, you will pass on your values without even trying as your children will naturally follow your example.

© 2021 Muriel B Tewes