Do you have a set of family values?
Preface before the reveal of your 10 family values…
First of all, I want to express an apology for letting you know that I started a full-time job with Buffer back in November 2015! It’s been an absolute dream, and I’ve learned a ton about social media, customer service and also myself! Along with all of the personal development I’ve had, I’ve also learned a ton about how to manage my family, including finding a really solid bundle of family values.
Right after Christmas, I finished the final day of my probationary bootcamp at Buffer. I was eager to know the next steps, and I was FILLED with excitement when I was extended a full-time employment offer. I feel incredibly blessed to be working with a company known for their 10 (unique) core values – ones so great that I know you’ll find value in potentially using them in your household.
(Be honest: Is it hard to concentrate with dancing grandmas above?)
I look forward to the rest of my journey with Buffer and all of the growth that comes along with it. I’ll surely keep you updated!
Now, onto what you came here for!
10 Family Values
(that are actually business values in disguise)
That Will Rock Your Household
(all 10 values are from The 10 Buffer’s Values and How We Act on Them Every Day)
If you’re thinking these aren’t exactly the most streamlined business values, you’re right! You don’t see the normal ‘safety’, ‘quality’ or other company-focused ideals. Instead, you see people-focused ideals with a strong hint at personal development and making others feel awesome.
This is exactly why translating them into family values seemed like a natural fit!
Alright, let’s break these 10 values down, mommy-style + with cool images you can share on your social accounts if you feel so inclined…
Note: These are value interpretations that I would love to raise my young family with. No offense taken if you don’t think these will work great for yours. 😀
Ah! Let’s start our family values off right!
What if our homes were filled with positivity? I’m not saying happiness 100% of the time, nor am I saying that we can’t be realistic about what is going on. Instead, I’m talking about moving through issues with the notion that we’ll all come out on top.
Let’s go through an example:
You, your 5-year-old daughter (Crabby Carrie) and 7-year-old son (Happy Hal) are on your way to the zoo. Happy Hal is excited to see the lions and is feeling great! Crabby Carrie is not happy, because she wanted to go to the museum instead.
You and Hal are trying to get Carrie excited, but she won’t budge. Instead of continuing to chat about it, you say your final thoughts. Something like,
“Carrie, Hal and I are so excited to go! We’d love for you to join us in happiness, Love! I’m looking forward to having fun with you today no matter where we are! We chatted about everything, and I understand the disappointment you must feel not going to the museum. We’ve made the decision to go to the zoo today. If you’re still feeling frustrated, feel free to think about it, but we will not speak about it out loud anymore. I’m excited to chat more when you’re feeling a bit more positive.”
Carrie continues to be crabby, so you and Hal continue the drive, laughing and chatting with each other about everything under the son, letting Carrie have her time to cool off.
Soon, we’re hoping that Carrie will see that adding positivity through disappointment is a lot more rewarding than festering frustration inside. After all, she wants to laugh and have fun with you, too!
YES! Even at the age of 5, Carrie can start to get a sense that positivity is more rewarding than grumpiness!
How refreshing it would be to have a transparent home. Such a cool one to add into your family values!
Just think of it – with transparency, you wouldn’t have children come to you when they’re 12, telling you that for the last 2 years you’ve done _____ wrong. Well, they might say it, but at least it wouldn’t come as a surprise. 😛
You also wouldn’t have a child who is hiding out in their room, glum but won’t tell you what is on their mind… at least that’s the hope, right?!
This might not work the same for every family and every child. The idea is to foster transparency, trust and openness from a young age so that it’s expected and hopefully second-nature as they grow older.
A few thoughts on how to practice this:
- Every night at dinner or before bed, talk about your day and ask questions to release more details. Vulnerability will foster best in a safe environment (no judgment from other members of the family), just support and listening ears.
- When someone seems to be sad, angry or frustrated, have a chat and let them know you’re listening. It’s important to keep in mind that not all personality types will be ready to chat right away. Encouragement, coupled with offering them a safe place for them to vent might be a relief!
- Let your kids in on plans you and your spouse are making for the family or changes you’re pondering. How great would it feel as a child to be part of the conversation? Of course, use discretion, as there are some decisions that you as a parent might be forced to make for the good of your family that your child (at their age) might not be able to fully think through or empathize with. There’s a potential you will need to protect them from some discussions.
Have you ever seen Dr. Phil? If you have, you know that there are 18-year-olds out there who don’t feel the need to go to college, get a job or go into the military. They either have no ambition, don’t understand their potential (lack of self-esteem) or aren’t able to envision their future.
Self-improvement usually comes to mind as children head into adulthood, but what if we added the notion into our family values, forcing our children to think a bit deeper about this throughout their lives?
I think it will be helpful to let my children know that if we’re not growing, we’re going backwards. When your child is able to pinpoint areas of self-improvement, you’ll know that your child has self-confidence, cares about their future and understands their self.
How might this look for different ages and how might we be able to foster it?
- Ages 3-4: Ask your child if they want to be a number, letter or word super hero! Make it their choice to learn more about one of these areas (or choose your own). You can create a chart with them to track their progress and make it a point to have learning / self-improvement time every day.
- Ages 5-9: Practice their extra-curricular with them in their free-time. If they play soccer, but struggle at getting the ball in the net, work with them on kicking accuracy and chat about why practicing outside of team time is imperative if they want to improve. With enough reinforcement, this will hopefully set them on a pattern of understanding that improvement doesn’t only happen during your dedicated practice, school or work time. Some of the best growth can occur outside of those hours.
- Ages 10-14: Help them investigate into what areas they would like to improve upon: speaking in class, math skills, a sport or activity, being a better friend, singing, art, etc. Listen to them as they make the choice to work on something and help them make a plan for improvement!
- Ages 15-18: Remind your child to initiate everything you used to do when they were 10-14 and guide them as needed. This is the time they are looking forward to college or a career path. Are there things they can improve upon to make themselves more competitive? Having them take the reigns in this period of their life will allow them to smoothly move into an adult mindset.
Woah, woah, woah… there are family values, ahem! AND business values that mention removing ego? I’m in
I think the biggest way to teach a child to remove ego from the equation is to model that behavior ourselves. They will model us. Beyond that, chatting about this notion and perhaps using characters on TV as an example of what to or what not to do can really help a child understand the importance of walking along in life without ego on their shoulder.
Having discussions about how others might have been able to remove ego from their decisions could be a really great way of reinforcing this notion.
Ideally, squashing any signs that your child is bringing ego into a conversation should help them really absorb the importance of this internally.
If you’re anything like me, this one component of our family values does not come into play naturally. Coming from the military and practicing being a strong woman in business, I was taught to be certain about my statements and to be fairly blunt when speaking.
Working for Buffer, I’ve quickly learned that it can be much more powerful to allow the other person to have the space to make their own decision to agree with you or not.
Carefully choosing our words can help others feel safe and less on the defense. Magical!
This is not something that most people learn early-on. What if we gave our children the gift of helping others feel heard by them and, in turn, also the gift of learning from others?
This can take them really far in life – stronger friendships, happy sibling relationships, more work camaraderie, happier teacher/student relationships and on and on. Maybe they’ll even add it into their own family values when they get older!
Blah, blah, blah!
Who else feels like they need to talk more and more to make their point? Many times this happens because you don’t see the body language you’d expect from the other party, and other times it’s because you just really want to make your point! Or, perhaps it’s because you’re not confident you said what you meant to say the first time.
Communicating with clarity comes with practice, correction and reflection. This is yet another component to our family values that might be best fostered by correcting your child in the moment.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of cooking, cleaning, bathing, repeat, that sometimes we forget to sit back and assess if our family is headed in the direction we’d hoped.
When we get lost in the tornado of the day-to-day hustle, it’s easy to forget to give attention to and foster the family values we already introduced.
What if we had it on our calendars to have a family meeting once a month to chat about how things are going. Revisit your family values (maybe these 10), and assess how you’re all doing with each one.
Another fun way to teach your children a pattern of reflection is to introduce journaling. They might really like it, and if you suggest a structure of thought behind it (i.e. perhaps not just spilling your guts, but maybe journalling about progress on certain goals or something else that would be helpful to look back on), it could be something that really turns into a great personal growth tool for them.
It’s so easy to get in the cycle of ‘busy’. Right now, my family doesn’t have a ton of space to just be. Hm… there IS a balance. Adding ‘Live Smarter, Not Harder’ to our family values is one way to push us closer to that balance.
Within family values (as opposed to business values), the ‘smarter’ component might mean having space to be a family separate from outside activities: work, sports, school, etc. Having that dedicated family time is smarter for your family growth, isn’t it? 😀
If that doesn’t sound right to you, discover what would make you feel a bit ‘smarter’ in your family life.
You might even be able to apply ‘Live Smarter, Not Harder’ to your household management by working at one task at a time when moving through chores.
Teaching your children how to work smarter through school work, physical training, hobbies, chores, etc. has the potential to allow them to think ‘smarter’ and appropriately critical about every challenge they face in the future.
How refreshing it is to be pleased and to hear that others are pleased.
Your children will fill with warmth when you acknowledge and are grateful for small efforts they’ve made. After realizing the connection between how great they feel and the fact that your expression of gratitude is what brought that on, they might even replicate this gratitude to make others feel just as awesome. #ProudParentingMoment
Sibling relationships can be really hard. What if we really highlighted the importance of this between our kids within our family values?
“Really? They’ll be peaceful?” you ask. Well, at least a bit more peaceful!
Fostering gratitude also gives us a great chance to teach our children that gossip doesn’t get us very far. How amazing would it feel to develop our children into people who didn’t feel anything was gained by spewing negative comments about others?
Perhaps the time saved by eliminating gossip from your home will lend well to our ‘Live Smarter, Not Harder’ value. 😀
This is the last of our 10 family values!
I suppose ‘Do the Right Thing’ can fall into play with all we’ve spoken about. Namely, I think integrity is the most important piece of the pie here.
If we can teach our children that lack of integrity brings guilt and guilt brings a woeful life, they might just start to get it. Allowing them to feel that guild and reflect upon it shortly after it happens, we might be able to change the way they move ahead.
Wowee! Thanks so much for sticking with me through this super fun post!
Which of these family values made you excited to share with your family?
Love to share on Pinterest? Here’s an image for you!