Family values are an intrinsic part of everyone’s lives as it not only helps expand one’s outlook at life but also provides them with the necessary skill set to combat the challenges along the way. Therefore, it is not only essential that parents take an active stand to instill in their children the necessary values to take them forward but also provide them with the necessary means to make the best use of these values.
According to a study published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “a successful family is that it is able to reproduce itself; i.e. to raise children who go on to establish stable and harmonious families themselves”. However, this statement is only a broad and somewhat circular definition that is difficult to apply simply because it leaves a lot to assumptions. The study further goes on to define the characteristics of a successful family, namely:
- Encouragement of Individuals
- Commitment to Family
- Religious Orientation
- Social Connectedness
- Ability to Adapt
- Expressing Appreciation
- Clear Roles
- Time Together
Now, it seems we can get a better understanding of the importance of family values and their role in creating identities or better still, influencing identities. Notice the way each of the above-mentioned characteristics is nurtured in a child through constant interaction with their family members.
According to statistics, morals and values rank a high 7 in the list of 56 possible characteristics of the healthy family as ranked by Curran. In another study by Benson, Galbraith, and Espeland, positive values such as equality and justice, caring, integrity, responsibility, honesty and restraint were ranked 26-31 of 40 developmental assets for any youth. So what do these numbers tell us?
The Changing Face of Families
According to Marquardt, Stokes & Ziettlow (2013), "parents have become more important than ever in determining the quality of a child's life. Intentional parenting is necessary for instilling values in children through rituals, taking advantage of teaching moments, and through the generativity of parents and grandparents. Values will be passed down from one generation to the next, therefore, parents need to be aware of the values they display in their day-to-day life—as they pass their values down to their children”.
The above statement clearly shows the importance of parents in the modern environment. As technology is furthering its influence in every sector, parents too need to properly channel these influences effectively in order to make their child understand the changing world around them. There are various ways family values can help us achieve success in life and most of them can be broadly categorized into the following major groups:
- Individual Values
Individual values are those that are core to one’s well being and are integral to the development of one’s personality as a whole. They not only affect you but also affect your image in front of your near and dear ones. These are the principles you live by and consider important to your self-interest. Examples of this are humility, creativity, enthusiasm and personal fulfillment. Notice the way these are largely entwined to shape the person you are! These values will not only guide you throughout your life but also guide others away or towards you depending on their individual values.
- Relationship Values
These values are essential for creating bonds with people around you. These reflect on the way you relate to others in your life, approach friendships or deal with your family or colleagues. Examples of this can be trust, generosity, openness and general care for other’s well being. These values are important in fostering relationships and building connections with the people around you.
- Organizational Values
These values refer to your ability to work as a team. Organizational values can be teamwork, growth, productivity and strategic alliances. A person with strong organizational values is more likely to succeed further in life as a part of a team rather than taking differential approaches. Notice the subtle differences between organizational values and relationship values. This holds true for most of the categories discussed here as you will notice that all of these values are quite interconnected with one another and it’s nearly impossible to work on one while not influencing the other.
- Societal Values
Societal values are those you use to connect with the society around you. We, being a social creature, must understand the basics of social behaviour in order to interact with people beyond our culture. This becomes second only to language as when vocal transcripts fall apart, body language becomes the dominant method of communication for many. Strong societal values ensure that one is able to cope up with societies that are beyond their immediate social circle.
These are the ways family values help us achieve success in life! As you can probably tell, our families play a critical role in instilling these values in us and therefore it is important that we keep communicating with them so as to make the best out of the values given to us.
With micro families becoming a norm and society traveling at breakneck speeds, it becomes extremely hard for one to keep up with their families on a regular basis. At mymily, we have created a dedicated platform where you can not only share intimate moments with your family members but also keep them updated about the latest developments in and around you. The app also creates your own family tree so that you can track family members and connect with them even after years of moving apart. The app is now available on both android and iOS.
Download it now and stay connected with your family no matter wherever they are!
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