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The Values Driven Family-Conclusion

Continued From The Values Driven Family-Living On Purpose

Parenting Driven By Values:

Once the marriage value is set, it's far easier to set parenting values.  I'm not going to say what each value should be...that's your job.  I will say that it must be a driving value.  For example, it's far easier to insist on honesty in your children if honesty is a value in your family that's important enough to drive behavior.  So dishonesty would never be tolerated or rewarded.  Also, if they catch you being dishonest, you would need to ask their forgiveness and make amends.  Why not tell them parents can lie but not kids?  How's that working for you?  True values drive behavior.  Don't set a value that you aren't willing to consistently practice.  Once your values are set and consistently practiced, there will be little need for bickering and negotiation between parent and child.   

Some ideas of values you might want to adopt to drive your family in addition to honesty are respect for others, respect for self, personal responsibility, productivity, protection of family members, mercy, education, etc.  Once you've set the values you want for your family, define those values so you understand them.  Consider ways to explain your driving values and to reward and punish behavior using the values.  Some people post their driving values and definitions on the wall so they can use them to teach the kids, reinforcing the right behavior and reason for the behavior all at once.  At the right age, you can start asking the kids to tell you what value applies to a given situation...even what your answer to their request should be based on the values.  If you spend serious hours thinking through and developing your driving values, they will begin to drive the family so you don't have to. 

Values And Abuse:

Whether it's sexual abuse or domestic violence, no one who is driven by the right values will do this.  This doesn't mean no one will be tempted, just that they will not give in to the temptation.  They will get help before the damage is done.  Of course, if someone does hurt another in this way, it doesn't mean they can't be part of the family, just that the behavior isn't acceptable in the family.  This means an adult in the family must take action to ensure the safety of all the others, first.  If the offender gets the necessary help, makes progress and shows by their actions and words they will follow the driving values, at some point, it may be safe to re-integrate them into the family.  If not, sadly, they have chosen by their actions to leave the family, whether to an institution or by divorce.    

Values And Money:

Many think that money is the reason for most isn't!  It's just a symptom of a deeper problem.  When values drive your family, it's hard to live without a budget, because everything you do is teaching the importance of the values to your children.  You can't really say education is a value if you're not saving for their education expenses.  You can't really say you're protecting your children if you don't have enough cash to cover 6 months without income.  Financial responsibility is driven by deeper values.  A showy car, the latest cell phone, a fancy house and designer clothes are all way down the list of priorities for a values driven family.  There are just so many more important things that values driven parents are not willing to sacrifice to impress their friends.  These are the kinds of examples that earn the respect of children to the third and fourth generation.

Values And Example:

A values driven family is all about setting examples.  "Do what I'm doing and you'll be fine."  This is the signal your every action sends your children.  Values driven parents live by the values they set for their children, because they value their children enough to avoid confusing them by doing one thing and saying another.  If you do slip human...then immediately show your kids the value you violated and ask their forgiveness.  Oh, what an example!   You may actually have kids telling on themselves.

By setting the driving values of your family and by setting the example in consistently following them, you can reduce family tensions and insecurity and establish a firm, consistent framework your children can build their lives upon.  The hard work of setting and establishing driving values pays for itself by adding purpose and meaning to your family and future generations.  Isn't it time we left the stress of the shoot-from-the-hip, accidental life behind and started living on purpose?   

I want you to know there is someone who can help, who loves you and wants only the best for you.  That someone is God.  If you want help from God, just click on Help Me God.

What values drive your family?

Any similarity between this article and the book "The Values-Driven Family" by Marc and Cynthia Carrier ( is coincidental. Values-DrivenĀ® is trademarked by Marc Carrier and is used by permission."

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