At the time of writing the Olympic flame is wending its way around Britain in readiness for the London 2012 games this summer. Crowds have turned out in force to support the Torchbearers that have had the honour to carry the flame in their “moment to shine” in a relay that will last 70 days, pass through more than 1000 cities, towns and village sand come within an hour of 95 per cent of the population. When it finally reaches its destination the last Torchbearer will light the cauldron at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium on 27 July which will mark the start of the 2012 Olympic Games and with it the values of the Olympics will be sealed: friendship, respect, excellence, determination, inspiration, courage, equality.
As such for many these very values echo throughout life and are central to much of the way we live our life and bring up our children. When embodied in relationships and work ethics they secure an operating platform that is a springboard for ‘success’ yet, as simple as they might appear to trip off the tongue, to live out these values is not as easy as many of us find out, and to nurture our children to understand just how important they are and to help them pave pathways in their own lives that also reflect such values takes time and effort and a life-long commitment.
The important thing though that arises from this is not necessarily so much how to instil these particular values but how to assess what values individuals hold dear for themselves and their children and whether these are acceptable or need challenging? We all have values and standards that we consider important and as such many of these define who we are or what we stand for and to a greater or lesser extent can also level the expectations that we rightfully or wrongly have for our children. How often do we stop and think what the driving force is for these expectations and whether they are realistic? What centre do they come from and indeed are they fair and right especially if they are informing our children’s futures? The values we each hold are intrinsic to us and as such these are thought provoking questions. They are the principals and ethics by which we live out life.
Knowing clearly what individual value and standards are will establish a mode of operandi, a level playing field, with clarity and transparency. They will help inform and to guide and to create an awareness that can be wisely used if needed. For instance, here at Reset Parenting we have the values of love, respect and responsibility. They are the values that we hold dear and the way we operate as a family is measured up to each of these values. By knowing that these are our family values each individual in the family knows what is expected in terms of their contribution to the family team. Essentially they act like a plumb-line and we each subscribe to them. For the Olympics the values are those stated earlier but for different families they will vary.
Values and standards are therefore important because not only do they define and determine but also provide the principals, ideals, expectations, standards, codes or ethics by which an individual or group choses to live whilst offering security and stability. This summer, therefore, as the Olympic flame burns in London for the 2012 Olympics why not re-evaluate your family’s values and standards so that they too have their moment to shine.