Situations where we need to make choices challenge us every day. A broad set of principles helps us to make choices about what is good and bad or what is right or wrong.
Family Values are ideas as to how you want to live your life. These values help you make good choices and guide you on how to behave in certain situations.
Values are personal beliefs about what is important and what is not; what is good and what is bad and what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, values give us direction on how to live. We want to share our values with our children.
Our 4 Grandsons
My wife and I have 4 grandsons between the ages of 2 and 6. We were there when they were born, and visit them as often as possible. However, since they are a days ride, or a flight away, we do not see them as much as we would like. We often ask ourselves how do we get to know them, how do they get to know us, and how do we help out and make a positive impact on their lives.
I am a financial literacy advocate and a believer that we all need principles to guide our lives. The earlier in life children are exposed to Family Values and learn about money matters the more likely that knowledge will take hold.
So I wrote a children’s picture book titled “Kindness Counts with Ms. Money”, Principles to Live by.
Your Family Values
The values my family believes to be important are divided into 3 categories. They include Moral, Personal and Financial Literacy.
However, every family should develop a list of what is important to them. Those values are about who you are. You might also consider Religious, Political, Recreational or Civic values in your list of Family Values.
The most successful companies focus on a few core values, and successful families should do the same. Establishing values for your family to live by should start at a young age. Initially, they should be developed by parents; as the family ages, there should be input from everyone. As time progresses, those values may change or mature based upon what is happening in each family member’s life and in the world.
“Kindness Counts with Ms. Money” includes examples of why Family Values are so important. This children’s picture book provides parents a fun way to discuss concepts your children will use their entire life.
The setting for the book is a classroom where Ms. Money and Uncle Ricky provide the students examples of Family Values. Uncle Ricky addresses the class, including two of his nephews, about the values his family believes to be important, including: always telling the truth, being responsible for your actions and not making excuses, caring about people around you, treating everyone equally and becoming financially literate.
Teaching Financial Literacy
The value “become financially literate” is also explored in more detail in another of my children’s picture books, “Let’s Meet Ms. Money”, One Step Towards Financial Literacy.
Unfortunately, parents and teachers don’t always teach children about money matters. The PwC Educator Survey found:
- 69% of educators say a lack of qualified teachers is a top challenge of financial education
- 67% of educators say they need more professional development for teaching financial education
If you believe you are financially literate and want to help others, you might take the challenge posed by the professional services firm of PwC.
PwC’s Earn Your Future Curriculum is composed of easy-to-follow lesson plans accompanied by interactive handouts. This curriculum provides students and educators with free and easy access to financial literacy education. The curriculum has certain modules which begin as early as kindergarten. You can download it, teach it, and share it.
If you believe you need education to teach your children about money matters, consider using e-books, webinars or other tools to increase your knowledge base. For example, our e-book “How to Budget, Save, Spend and Invest”, Owning Your Financial Future provides the necessary information to prepare you to teach your children.
Reinforcing Family Values vs. Power and Material Success
We live in a world where power and material success are always on display. Many of our politicians, celebrities and sports stars ﬂaunt what they believe to be success.
Therefore, continuous reinforcement of Family Values is important. This occurs by frequently discussing the established values, conspicuously displaying the values, using the values as the focal point for solving problems as they arise, and by parents living the values for all to see.
It is important to remember Family Values are not rules but principles or standards of behavior to live by. Rules are too narrow to apply to situations in life, where values have much broader applicability.