As a parent, we have so many things to look after;

  • Making sure our kids actually eat, then also making sure it’s something that will actually benefit them;
  • Having somewhere to sleep, preferably in a bed — warm and dry is great;
  • and then, of course, education in our Western culture, in particular, is fairly important.

Do we really need to do all of this?

On top of all of this, there is actually training our kids in basics like behaviour, manners and respect — one of the biggies for me. Probably because I think the value of respect, along with a few others, covers most other issues we deal with in life.

None of what we’ve mentioned even touches on what we really need to do every day to keep a house running, and careers, sports, dance, relationships, social life, etc. going.

The Battle

I’m sure if you’re a parent, you have, on more than one occasion, decided that you need to choose your battles… CAREFULLY. With all of what we’ve talked about so far, I’m sure you know that deciding what the important battles are is not always easy.

Previously, we’ve talked about letting kids have a say with their parents in improving the family culture. This way, they will feel ownership and will be part of building this great family culture.

If you’ve written a list of traits and values that you would like to build your family culture on, you have probably noticed that to try and implement all of these would be practically impossible.

So How Do We Do It?

Here are a couple of hints on how to make life easier in many respects, and help with knowing which battles to fight.

1) When you have a list of values and traits that are important for you and your family, reduce these values to a maximum of 8–12.

2) Part of reducing the number of values and traits is working out which ones are actually crucial, e.g., if respect is one of the uppermost traits or values in your family, allowing your children to back-chat and yell at you is not going to support building the culture of your family.

By knowing specifically what your values and traits are, you now know which battles are the ones you need to fight.

If honesty is one of your values, you will always be honest no matter what and no matter what age your kids are because, believe it or not, kids can tell. Even if you think they can’t, I’ve seen too many times where parents lie to their kids, for good reason, and yet years later, these kids start lying to their parents.

On the other hand, of course, if you see your kids being dishonest, you will immediately pull them up, knowing that dealing with the issue early will help re-enforce your culture, strengthening the culture that you want.

What are the top 8–12 values that are most important to you and the future of your family?


Originally published at Mum Daily. Photo by Kindel Media.

About the Author: Annette Spurr

Annette Spurr runs her own business at Blue Box Media and is also the Managing Editor at Mum Daily. As a wife and mother, Annette has discovered the power of gratitude journalling.

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