It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are. (Roy Disney)
– Desiree Panlilio
Values drive behavior. Values are your beliefs regarding specific issues, Values are internal and specific to you, emotional, arguable and can and should change as we gain knowledge. What you valued ten years ago is not what you value today. It is important to share what your personal values are, what your family values are and then to help your teen decide what their values are. As a parent it is important to let them decide the value and how they define it. How we define a word changes as we grow. Let your teen work out their own values. You will see that they are similar to yours.
After all, the whole point of values is that your teen adopts their own values for themselves, not because their parents told them what to value. Our values are constantly reflected in the way we choose to behave. Values are extensions of ourselves and they are what define us. An example is your teen makes the varsity football team, you feel good—as though this happened to you.
Values are the fundamental component of our psychological make-up and our identity. We are defined by what we choose to find important in our lives. We are defined by our prioritizations. As a parent If money matters more than anything, then that will come to define who you are. For your teenager if playing soccer is the only thing that matters then they will prioritize that and value anything to do with soccer. All of this requires balance. Values must be something we can control, not something that controls us. Big learning curve here for all of us. We may value money but we can not control how much we have, the economy, loss of a job and many other factors control that “value” . Your teen may value, live and breathe soccer but they can not control if their team wins, if they play or if another player comes along that is better than them. So we must be able to control the value.
What are some good values that we can encourage and embrace as parents. A few examples: honesty, vulnerability, standing up for oneself, standing up for others, self-respect, curiosity, charity, humility, creativity and intelligence.
Values along with perspective and a personal mission statement help to create a strong resilient young adult who will go and create personal success. Once your teen has decided on their values it is easier to write SMART goals that align with their values. It is easier to push back against peer pressure that does not agree or support their values. By your teen understanding what their values are they are more likely to make decisions that align with their values and to the goals they are wanting to achieve. For example if your teen values their academics but also values partying, eventually one of the values will be tested through life circumstances and your teen will have the opportunity to grow, redefine their values and correct the pathway that they are on.
So for each of us, it is important to know what we value, why we value it and how to make sure we stay true to our values and achieve the success we want. We are our teens biggest role model and it is important that we role model values we can control, and that are helping us to be better people in our community.