As another New Year dawns, our thoughts often turn to resolutions. Yet, this year, I invite you to join me in a different kind of commitment – one that transcends the fleeting nature of annual resolutions. Let’s embark on a journey of instilling enduring family values, a journey that shapes character and legacy far beyond the confines of a single year.

When a family chooses to focus on shared values rather than just habitual behaviors or traditions, they set the stage for deeper connections and meaningful development. Values act as a compass, guiding our actions and decisions in a way that transient goals or customs cannot. They are the silent teachers of empathy, respect, and integrity in our everyday lives.

A Family Transformed: The Power of Kindness

Let me share the story of the Johnsons. The youngest, Leela, struggled with being kind to her siblings and elders. It was often embarrassing for her parents how rudely she would respond to people who would interact with her or how she would snatch toys from other children in her class. Recognizing the need for change, the Johnsons could choose to force her to be kind or reflect on their family life. Was kindness something they truly valued as a family? Choosing to change Leela’s behaviour through bribes, extra screen time or even a threat would work in the immediate situation, but would it help in the long run? The Johnson’s chose the longer path.

The Kindness Journey: Small Steps, Big Changes

It started with simple acts: Leela’s parents modeling kindness in their daily interactions, and acknowledging even the smallest acts of kindness within the family. They read stories about kindness at bedtime, discussed what it looked like in real life, and together engaged in community acts of kindness.

Slowly, the fabric of their family life began to change. Leela started to mirror the kindness she saw in her parents. She learned to share, to speak gently, and to offer help. The ripple effect was astonishing – not only within their home but also in their community. Kindness became a value that was normal in the family.

Imagine seeing this change in our own family life. What are some ways we could instill kindness or any other value as being the foundation for family life this year?

5 Practical Ways to nurture a family value in the coming year:

  1. Choose the Value as a Family:
  • Family Meeting and Discussion: Gather everyone, explain what values are, and let each member suggest values.
  • Voting Process: Use a fun voting method like stickers or drawings, allowing everyone, including preschoolers, to participate.
  • Celebratory Announcement: Celebrate the chosen value with a special announcement or a small family ceremony.
  1. Create a Visual Reminder:

Create a visual representation of the chosen value, such as a poster or craft. Involve the children in the creation process and display it prominently at home.

  1. Daily Practice with Integrated Play:
  • Reinforce Daily: Incorporate the value into everyday life, acknowledging instances where family members exhibit the value.
  • Use Play and Stories: During playtime or storytime, choose activities and books that reinforce the value in an engaging and understandable way for preschoolers.
  1. Weekly Reflection and Family Time:

Have a weekly family meeting to discuss how everyone is doing with the value. Share stories, celebrate successes, and encourage each other in a positive and supportive environment.

  1. Celebrate Progress and Milestones:
  • Regular Checkpoints: Set regular intervals, like monthly or quarterly, to review progress as a family.
  • Celebration Events: Organize small celebrations or reward systems to acknowledge the efforts and improvements made in living out the value.
  • Reflect and Adapt: Use these celebrations as opportunities to reflect on the experiences, learn, and adapt your approach if necessary.

Conclusion: Embarking on a Value-Driven Journey

As we stand at the threshold of a new year, let’s choose a path less traveled but infinitely more rewarding. Let’s choose to weave a value, like kindness, into the very fabric of our family life. It’s a journey that promises not just a year but a lifetime of transformation.

Your Story, Our Journey

As you reflect on this tale of transformation and consider your own family’s journey, I invite you to share your experiences and aspirations. What value will your family embrace this year? Together, let’s inspire and support each other in creating homes where values are not just spoken of but lived and breathed daily.


Written by: Joshua George

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