Instilling Core Values in Your Kids

What is a core value?  It is value that guides your behaviors across a wide variety of situations.  It is what you want to be.  And it will guide what you do.

Core values are a double-edged sword, when used wisely they help us pursue wisdom while avoiding unethical decisions. When values are spoken but not proven, they will reveal the weaknesses in the leader.  They will undermine their own effectiveness.

Here are three keys to a wise use of core values.

First key:  keep it simple.  Have few enough to be stated in a single memorable sentence. 

For example, “In our family we will be ________, and _______.  “


“We are people of ________, _______, and _______.  “

Second key:  be repetitive.  Look for opportunities to speak the values.  How do you know when you are speaking them enough?  When your kids start finishing your sentences.  When they make the concepts a part of their own normal speech.  When your kids make fun of you for saying it so much.  Then you are getting there. 

Third key:  be a living example of what the values look like.  Prove the values with your actions.  And be appreciative and impressed when you see others do the same.  Have integrity.  Celebrate integrity.  Keep these values in mind with every interaction, every investment of time and money.  Seek to embody the values.

Keep it simple.  Repeat them often.  Prove them with behaviors.  This is how you instill core values.