What Do You Stand For?
What does your family stand for? I don't mean whether you vote Republican or Democrat. I'm asking about what character traits define who your family is. What virtues do you embrace? What principles guide your behavior? Do your children know -- and more importantly see in action -- what you feel about integrity, compassion, tolerance, equality, and forgiveness? When asked to describe your family, would your children mention proudly that you stood for honesty, courage, and faith? Your children need to know the reasons behind what you stand for. Your family of origin's values? Life-changing events in your past? Your religious beliefs? They also need to know what you won't stand for and why, like racism and bigotry.
Before you engage your children in a discussion of what your family stands for, you might ask them what they think are your family's most important beliefs and values. How have they come to those conclusions? What have they observed in your actions and in what ways have they lived their lives to prove what you all stand for? Their answers will give you a child-centered focus to begin your talk.
Simply listing the character traits of your family -- "We stand for honesty, empathy, and tolerance" -- isn't enough. Here are some examples of what your family might stand for, and some questions that will deepen your discussion.
Read Carleton Kendrick's bio.
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