Discovering and operating from core values
Your inner guidance system works like the rudder on a ship, keeping you on track through both calm and turbulent waters. It comes to your aid when you are challenged. It guides you to show up in the ways that you desire.
Teaching your children about their inner guidance system, beginning with their core values, is incredibly valuable.
We often think of core values as characteristics to instill in children. Truthfully, we all already have core values. They are not separate from us. They are within us. It is simply a matter of discovering or choosing them and then practicing them. “I AM Statements” are a powerful way to teach your children how to live from their core values.
To create an I AM Statement, each person in your family chooses someone they admire. Everyone shares their chosen person, along with three or four characteristics that they admire about the person.
In my work with elementary school students, I have seen a range of people chosen, ranging from Martin Luther King Jr. to LeBron James to mom or dad, a grandparent and even Harry Potter. The characteristics chosen include persistence, compassion, dedication, inspiration, cooperativeness, boldness, adventurousness, confidence, responsibility, humor (that one is very popular), playfulness, peacefulness and generousness.
On an index card, each person then writes, “I AM” at the top, followed by the four characteristics that they chose about their person. Those things we see, aspire to and admire in others are in each of us as well. Some simply may be more developed than others. The purpose is to become very conscious about our values and to practice them.
That practice includes saying your statement out loud to yourself daily. Decide as a family how many times a day — at least 20 – that you are each going to say your statement. Then practice this for six weeks.
During those six weeks, notice when you are operating from your statement. Let your children know when you see them operating from theirs.
If a challenging situation happens for your daughter, have her choose one of her characteristics to guide her through it. If your son is not happy with how he handled something, have him choose the characteristic that he would like to operate from the next time. Talk about how that will look.
In consciously practicing their statements, your children are simply and powerfully reminding themselves of who they really are.
Maggie Macaulay is the owner of Whole Hearted Parenting, offering coaching, courses and workshops. Contact her at 954-483-8021 or Maggie@WholeHeartedParenting.com. visit her website at WholeHeartedParenting.com.