Family values will determine what kind of people our children become, and what kind of contribution they ultimately make to society. In developing a set of values for your family, it is useful to first distinguish between values and virtues.
We sometimes speak of values and virtues as if they are the same thing, but they are really very different. Values are what we hold as important and care most about, and they can be anything at all. Most of us have experienced a person, family or organization that has a different set of values to us.
What are Values?
Values can include things such as amassing a huge fortune, or eating junk food, and can vary from family to family and culture to culture. Virtues, on the other hand, are not culture-specific. They are universal human character traits valued by every culture and faith group.
Examples of virtues
Respect, consideration, helpfulness, kindness, joyfulness, love, generosity, compassion, perseverance, thoughtfulness, courtesy and confidence are some virtues that can be integrated into the family values system. These are family values that most parents aspire to and when integrated into family life can create peaceful, harmonious families.
Virtues such as these are the cornerstone of a just and peaceful world, and when families integrate these virtues into the everyday lives of their family they will create a set of family values that grow children who reach their full potential and make a powerful contribution to peaceful society.
How does Virtues Education Occur?
Virtues education is purposefully teaching children about the inherent and specific qualities of character that every human being is born with. By focusing on virtues, we avoid imposing the values of one particular belief system, on families and communities with diverse cultural and religious beliefs and practices. Instead we focus on those qualities of character that are universally valued.
It is useful to have a list of virtues as a reference in your home. A basic list of 26 key virtues that can form the foundation for your family values can be downloaded free.
Or you can obtain a set of 26 virtues cards to use as daily reminders and to educate yourself and your children of the wonderful gifts of character that are within.