Have you ever really sat down and given thought to what values you want to teach in your family? If someone asked you, could you tell them the five most important values to you? How clear are your children about what the family values are? Your values speak to what is most important to you in life. They are the foundation of your family. Without a clear vision of what your values are, life is more challenging. Let me explain why.

Your family values guide your decisions. Every decision you make is based on values. If you choose not to get up for a morning jog, then you are valuing sleep over exercise in that moment. If you allow your child to stay home from school because she complains of a stomach ache, then you are valuing your child’s health over her education that morning. Many of the day-to-day decisions are made without even thinking about them, but they should all represent what’s important to you.

Sometimes, however, you’ll notice some decisions are much harder to make. It’s usually because you’re struggling with a value conflict. I think one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make was whether or not I should put my older son on medication for ADHD. The value conflict I wrestled with was his physical health vs. his emotional/educational health. Until I was very clear which was most important to me, I battled with guilt and apprehension. Today I am totally comfortable with my son taking medication because I ultimately decided that his emotional and educational success was more important than the risks I may be taking with his physical health. His dad, however, has different values than me. He values his physical health over his emotional and educational success.

Stress is the result of not living in integrity with your values. In the coaching world, we regularly talk about how well we are walking our talk. If I say honesty is important to me, then I better live an honest life. If I’m not, then I’m not walking my talk. And the result is self-induced stress. How much stress in your family can be contributed to living out of integrity with your family values?

For instance, let’s say you highly value peace. If your family has frequent conflicts, then you will feel stressed much of the time. If being on time is important to you, stress will occur anytime the family is running late. Honoring your most important values is paramount if you are going to live the life you want.

To have a phenomenal family, everyone needs to be on the same page with the family values. So sit down and make a list of what values you want to live by. Try to pick your top five. If you’re married, have your partner make his own separate list. Combine your lists and together choose 5-7 values that you absolutely won’t compromise in your family. Schedule a family meeting and clearly communicate your family values. For example, if respect is a value you want your family to live by, then explain to your children what respect means. Give them concrete examples of what respect looks like. Being respectful means we talk to each other with kindness. It means we must ask each other if we want to borrow personal belongings. Respect means we listen to the person who is speaking.

Once everyone is clear what the family values, then start walking your talk. That means your rules will center on your values. Your decisions will be guided by your values. Each member of the family will be held accountable to living out these values. You reward and praise each other when those values are being displayed. There are consequences when the family values are compromised. And most important, mom and dad must be walking models of these values in the home.

Being clear about and honoring your values will make life easier for you. Most decisions will be effortless. You will experience less stress in your life. You will begin to live your life with more purpose and fulfillment. And ultimately, you will pass on to your children the family values you one day hope will be passed on to future generations.

Author's Bio: 

Lori Radun, CEC – certified life coach for moms. To receive her FREE newsletter and the FREE special report “155 Things Moms Can Do To Raise Great Children”, go to http://www.true2youlifecoaching.com