How To Raise Your Kids With Healthy Values Part 1

How To Raise Your Kids With Healthy Values Part 1

by Dr. Andy Yarborough

Parenting is hard.

While the purpose of it is glorious, the process of it isn’t exactly glamorous.

As a parent, you have an amazing responsibility. You get to play the most significant role in shaping the life of another person.

And though this responsibility is incredible, it can equally be overwhelming. I’m sure you’re thinking, “I’m having a hard enough time shaping my own life, can I really do that for another?”

And my answer is, whether for better or worse, you are already shaping the life of your child!

Here’s the truth though, none of us know what we’re doing all the time.

Parenting is a lot of guesswork and trial-and-error. There isn’t always a clear path of steps to follow for every circumstance you and your child face.

But while each step may not be clear I want to give you a strategy that will help you raise your children for the better. This strategy will work as the tracks that keep you from going off course.

So what is the strategy?

The strategy is values-based parenting.


First things first, what are values? Values are an overriding principle that drive who we are and what we do. It represents a belief system that governs how we engage the world around us.

You may not even be aware of your values. Regardless, they are behind most of your decisions in life.

Let’s consider some examples.

Let’s say you value honesty. Because of this you’ll choose the people you let close into your life based on their trustworthiness. And perhaps you’ve even lost relationships and opportunities because of your commitment to honesty.

Because it’s an overriding principle, even if a job could offer you better pay you may not choose it if you felt that you couldn't trust your boss.

Or you could have a value of loyalty. This means that when you’re in, you’re all the way in. As an overriding principle, even if things get really difficult, you’ll stick it out longer than most.

As a final example your value could be something like adventure. With this, you love trying out new things. As an overriding principle you’ll even try out that restaurant you’ve never been to even though the parking lot is always empty on Saturday night and none of your friends have been there.

It’s important to notice that values are not behaviors but they are behind what drives our behaviors. Exercise, for example, is a behavior that can have several values behind it (health, vanity, perfection, etc.)

Whether we're aware of them or not, we all have values and they drive most of what we do. Just because you've never written them down doesn't mean they haven’t been there guiding your life.

Now that you know what values are, let's talk about how to use them in parenting.

Values-Based Parenting

Values-based parenting is an intentional approach to raising your children from a core set of defined values.

The emphasis I’m placing here are on the words, “intentional” and "defined." This is because we all parent from our values. As mentioned earlier, we live our entire lives from our values. The issue is we’re often not aware of those values because we’ve never taken the time to define them and be intentional about them.

When you’re not intentional with your values, you can parent from two other places.

First, your parenting can be chaotic. This is when you’re reacting to problems as they arise. Or second, your parenting is accidental. This is when you’re unclear on what exactly is driving your approach to parenting.

Parenting from either of these places causes you to be more focused on the absence of problems instead of the presence of growth. Removing bad behavior from a child doesn’t automatically fill them with the right values. With values-based parenting, you’re being proactive to fill your child’s life with what matters most.

So how do you do this? Click here to read part 2 to find out!

You can also order my ebook, Values-Based Parenting by clicking here for a more in-depth treatment on this topic!

Dr. Andy Yarborough

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