7 STUPID EASY WAYS TO BUILD BOLD PERSONAL VALUES IN YOUR KIDS
Strong personal values are like the hands of a skilled baker. They are the yeast that allows you to rise, they shape and mold all your choices – good and bad. So, you need to invest time and energy to get the right result.
Just how do you go about building great values?
The foundation is built brick by brick by following the example set by parents.
I am so pleased to have my first guest post on the blog.
Read Leresen Govender’s personal tribute to his parents for their positive role in his personal growth.
I have had life throw me curveballs every now and again. I had no option but to smash them right out the park.
But, just how do you keep swinging the bat when all that pressure caves in on you at once?
Luckily, I’ve had the greatest of coaches in my parents. They taught me the skills to deal with life’s challenges. Their show rather than tell style of
parenting paved the road to my strong personal beliefs.
This post reveals:
- – a few of the tactical game plays my mom and dad used
- – the personal values I developed from each one
PERSONAL VALUE # 1: HAVE A SLICE OF HUMBLE PIE
If you are humble nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.
My parents had difficult childhoods. Life was hard and even essentials were not easy to get.
But they worked to build a decent life for themselves.
So, when they could, they gave my sister and me opportunities they never had when they were growing up – like dinner at a fancy restaurant, a weekend away or an overseas holiday.
Like all kids, I wanted to share the stuff we did as a family. So, I had no problem talking about my dad’s new car or our trip to Mauritius. Quite unaware that I was showing off. That the neighborhood kids did not like my bragging.
My mom put a dead stop to that. She simply told me that we should never boast about the things we have. Be grateful, not boastful.
Their humble beginnings taught them the importance of humility.
I learned well from the simple lifestyle choices they made.
They openly rejected the idea that success depends on a healthy bank balance.
PERSONAL VALUE # 2: SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP TO THE PLATE
Never, never, never, never give up.
Since my early school days, I’d always been a top achiever. Head student leader, Valedictorian, an overall high flyer.
I’ll never forget the day I first took my driver’s test. My dad hid at the testing ground and watched from afar.
A huge disappointment awaited me.
Even today, I find it hard to voice the words. I failed the test. I was crushed. I felt as if I had been bulldozed. Until then, I had not failed at anything.
Yet somehow my parents knew exactly what to say to me. They told me a story…. daring trick – storytelling to an 18-year-old really pumped up about driving. I’m glad I listened:
There once was a man who had a hard working donkey. The donkey had been by his side working tirelessly for his master. Until one day, the donkey had gotten too old and the owner decided to bury him in a well. He threw the donkey into the well and began to throw dirt over him. But each time the owner threw some more dirt onto the donkey, the donkey would shake it off and step on it. The donkey did this until he reached the top and climbed out of the well.
My parents reminded me that life is full of failures. That I should not quit no matter how tough and thorny the road may be. Perseverance often brings giant rewards.
PERSONAL VALUE # 3: HARD WORK NEVER KILLED ANYONE
Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.
Both my parents, being nurses, are no strangers to hard work.
I’d see them going off to work before the sun had risen and returned home long after it had set.
‘ Working in a hospital, taking responsibility for all those sick people, is not an easy task,’ they’d say.
I’d often complain that they were always working. That they didn’t spend much time with us.
All I would get in return was, ‘ Hard work never killed anyone ‘.
They worked hard to give my sister and I a better life. Their super work ethic paid for us both to go to universities away from home, overseas holidays and to have a good lifestyle.
I look back at those moments now…eyes flooded with gratitude.
By osmosis, I acquired the same belief in hard work which I strive to use in my life.
PERSONAL VALUE # 4. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.
Mom and dad mastered the art of serving others early in life. Their nursing background played but a small part of their desire to help others.
They found every excuse to help the needy. Neighbors in need knew they could turn to my parents – food, money, transporting people to church – whatever.
They showed us the value of random acts of kindness long before it became fashionable.
From a young age, my family and I were involved in church outreach programs. Activities we regularly take part in are:
- – Collecting clothing for the poor
- – Providing meals for the homeless
- – Giving out blankets in winter
- – Christmas programs at children’s homes
The joy on the faces of those less fortunate gave my life new meaning.
I wanted to help others, any chance I could get. Just like my parents, I want to do rather than say.
PERSONAL VALUE # 5: NO ONE DOES YOU BETTER THAN YOU
Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward.
My parents shaped my confidence and identity. They were 100% in my corner no matter what.
Puberty struck brutally in high school. I wanted to fit in – to act, dress and talk like the cool kids.
My parents dug their heels in and said that this haircut or that kind of speech is not you. They advised me to be myself at all times.
It’s easy to fit in but difficult to stand out.
I was forced to embrace who I am, flaws and all. I realized I was unique in my own way.
As hard as it was not sticking to the status quo, I figured my parents made sense.
Who better to do you….than you.
So, I learned self – acceptance form their clear support for me.
PERSONAL VALUE # 6: BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT AND YOU CAN
Winners never quit, and quitters never win.
I was brought up to embrace challenges. The biggest ordeal I faced was in my Grade 12 year. I decided to write an additional Math exam – Geometry and Probability.
The workload was already intense but I loved Math. I figured I had more to gain than lose. As this was not part of the syllabus at my school, I had to find a tutor and prepare for the exam on my own.
It was unbelievably tough to cope with the dual demands of my teachers and my tutor.
But my two biggest fans were right there to cheer me on. Supporting me with tasty snacks and company through the long hours at my desk.
They told me to never be afraid of a challenge and to believe that I could achieve anything I set my mind on.
They often repeated our favorite movie line – ‘ You can do what anyone else can do; only you can do it better.’
PERSONAL VALUE # 7: A FAMILY THAT PRAYS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER
Faith is all about trusting God even when you don’t understand His plan.
Our faith plays a major part in our lives.
I recall how they would wake us up early on Sunday morning and get us ready for church.
Very early on, I learned that being a Christian is more than church on Sunday. It is a life sentence of living out the lessons contained in the Bible. As a family, we try to practice our faith daily. To find ways to help others, to be kind and good in all that we do.
Mom’s favorite line is ‘ A family that prays together stays together.’
And so my sister and I grew up living by this principle. When things got difficult and we had no answers, we would pray. Hoping for an answer. Hoping for a brighter day.
Today I am ever so thankful for the life lessons that my parents passed on to me.
These values have carved and crafted me into the young man I am today.
I swear by their advice knowing that they’ve lived it and it worked for them.
But when the winds of life begin to blow again and I lose my footing, I know I will always have a parent-shoot to save me from free falling.
Have your parents been pivotal in molding your character? Share your story in the comments below.
MORE ABOUT LERESEN GOVENDER