Passing on your Family’s Values

How a Mother Can Share the Things She has Learned

Have you thought about how you can pass on to your own children the values your mother taught you? Sometimes we have to make a conscious effort to pass on our values.

The things you learned from your mother are part of your tradition and when you pass them on to your children you show them how they fit into the ongoing scheme of family.

Mothers Day: Review the Lessons Learned from Your Mother

One time, possibly around Mothers Day, sit down and write in your journal or on a piece of special paper those values your mother taught you, and the positive things about her personality that have influenced you. It’s an enlightening exercise. What is it you learned from your mother or grandmother? What do you wish to pass on to your own children?

Your mother may have been a great people person, and people were always more important to her than things. That spirit of hospitality might be something you will enjoy carrying on in your own family. The way you do it may be different from your mother’s way, but inviting the mother or father of our children’s friends in for a cup of coffee when they come to pick up their children may be one way. You will meet some of your closest friends that way, and your children have become part of a larger network of families.

Was your mother someone who enjoyed talking about ideas and issues? Was she a great questioner of the status quo? Much of your learning may have been done at the dinner table as you ate your meal and argued politics and other issues. This atmosphere of discussion may be another thing you will enjoy fostering with your own children.

Communicate Lessons Learnt in Ways Relevant to Today’s World

Our lifestyles are much busier these days but setting the table with flowers and candles when you can, and encouraging lingering at the table will mean you’ll be able to discuss current issues. As your children grow older you’ll be able to ask their opinion on items of the day. And their opinions will probably be good ones.

Was your mother a creative craftsperson or cook, or a lover of the outdoors, or did she show the virtues of patience and kindness? Maybe she was an efficient organizer. See if you can take some time to make a list. You will be surprised at what you find.

Importance of Strong Family Ties

As mothers, we are part of the ongoing history of our families. The UNICEF report, Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Countries, highlights some unpalatable facts about children and families. Weak family ties are a factor the report connects with the risk of injury, death or abuse. This should remind us of the importance of strong families in promoting the well being of our children.

Fostering those strong family bonds for our children and being part of the ongoing flow from grandmother to mother to children will mean that our children will be part of the positive statistics – giving out to others and being strong in themselves. It’s worth it.

If your experience with your mother was not a good one ask yourself if there is just one positive attribute you can pick up from her life. Or was there a grandmother, Girl Scout or Guide leader, sports coach or Sunday school teacher who influenced you positively?

Take time to think about those special things your mother, or mother figure in your life, passed on to you. Think about how you can pass those things on to the next generation. Then, as a community, begin building healthy children who have ties to the past and the strength to launch into their own future.