People—yours truly included—often talk about the challenges parents face. It’s true that the constant monitoring, middle-of-the-night feedings, and never-ending energy can be exhausting, but the perks of being a parent far outweigh the challenges.
One of those perks is having the opportunity to analyze and clarify what’s really important to you. As a parent, there is no way you will be able to impart all of your hard-earned wisdom and knowledge to your children. The best you can hope for is to provide them with a strong enough foundation that they can make their own informed and responsible decisions.
Part of that foundation relates to your values—to what’s REALLY important to you that you want to instill in your children. These are the core values that were instilled in you by your parents, then adapted by your experiences, knowledge, and understanding.
At this point in my life, my hope is that I can instill the following core values in my children:
- The Value of Kindness. This includes kindness not only for each other, but for animals and the earth. It’s a respect for all living things and for our connection and interdependence with each other.
- The Value of Learning. This goes beyond your typically academic learning—says the 2nd-year PhD student—to include being open to experiences that challenge you, push you, and allow you to grow. Another important component? That there’s a love for lifelong learning. May the learning and growth never end.
- The Value of Beauty. I hope to instill in my children an appreciation and respect for the aesthetics. This can include, but are not limited to, nature, music, art, poetry, people, design, architecture, drama, dance, culinary arts, technology, and fashion.
Now that I have opened myself up a little to you, what are your thoughts? Parent or not, what values are important to you?