Have you noticed how fast your kids tune you out if they get a whiff of you lecturing them? How else can you feel good about teaching family values?

I try to keep their attention by finding mentors that present the values I have and lead conversations in critical thinking.

This is important to remember as we talk about the first and second Circles of Online Safety.

  • #1 Align as parents
  • #2 Connect with kids

You define your family values as you Align as parents in step one. You teach online safety from that foundation as you Connect with your children in step two.

What family values are important to you? Once you’ve identified 3-5 key values, you can start to reinforce them with your family.

Here’s a personal example of how I am teaching family values

One of my core beliefs is that humans are wired to cooperate. We feel better when we lift each other up. Our family mantra since my babies were in diapers has been “Be kind” and that mantra comes up almost daily for us.

And yet… sometimes my kids fight or are mean to each other. Sometimes I yell “BE KIND!” instead of modeling kindness in my tone. We’re human.

How to reinforce your family values

I’m always looking for ways to reinforce my #1 family value of kindness while avoiding “Mama lectures”.

Recently we watched the documentary I Am as a family. It’s got instant appeal because it’s funny and stars the producer of “Bruce Almighty” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”.

In this documentary, Tom Shadyac explores whether humans are by nature competitive or cooperative. He interviews scientists and thought leaders for various perspectives and research to answer his question.

Are we driven by scarcity and fear, separate and individual, competitive at our core? Or are we driven by cooperation and are connected at our core?

When we continue to gather resources and hoard them (money, food, etc), we feel significant at someone else’s expense. It’s a zero sum game where if I win, you lose.

We we share resources, we feel interconnectedness, internal significance and belonging to a community. There are physical and mental health benefits when we cooperate.

The movie discusses mirror neurons, survival of the fittest, detecting the electromagnetic field from one heart to another.

Family discussions

This movie led to deep discussions around personal examples of how we are generous as a family and how we are greedy, which  led to brainstorming in how we can do better.

In the end of his documentary, Tom Shadyac asks two questions:

  1. What’s wrong with the world?
  2. What’s right with the world?

Can you guess what the answer was? It’s the same for both questions…

What movie or book has led to deep family discussions at your house?

Comment below and we’ll chat!

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