What are my values?
This is a great question to help your tween or teen walk through.
Without your child knowing their values, what motivation is there for him or her to get out of bed in the morning? There would be no future aspiration of what they want their life to look like that’s worth fighting for.
But with that set of internal values, suddenly your teen will have something worth fighting for, where they can ask, “do my behaviors and actions match up with the person I want to be?”
What are my Values?
Many of us don’t know what our own internal values are. We just align with the values of our culture, what social media says is important, and even our parents’ values.
It’s easy to speculate what you feel you should value. It usually sounds something like, “my parents think I should…” or “I saw this picture on Instagram and I really should…”
But finding out what you personally value takes a little more effort.
One mom in our group shared that she hired a coach to help her child get clear on what he wanted for his life:
However, there is a simple activity your child (or you) can go through to help identify your own personal values.
Simple Activity to Identify Personal Values
Start by Clearing Your Mind
Take out a pen and paper and start by emptying your mind of everything (and everyone) who is in there, telling you what you should believe and think. Try to create space for your mind to wander, so you can land on new insights.
Create Your List
As you create your list, think about experiences in your life that lit you up and made you excited or happy. What happened during those peak experiences? What values were you honoring in those moments?
Next, think of the times in your life that things have made you angry or upset? What about that experience upset you? What values are linked to those experiences? Was it something done to someone? Something negative happening in the world? Again, what values can be tied to those things?
If you need help, take a look at this list of personal values for ideas.
And finally, think about what you need in your life to be personally fulfilled and happy? Is it a healthy body? Is it being creative? Is it being surrounded by beauty?
What personal values do you need to honor in order to be happy and fulfilled?
Group Your List of Values
Look at the list of words on your list. Can they be grouped into central themes? You may need to do this several times over the course of several days in order to really identify the top 5-10 core values you can pull from your larger list.
You may also need to revisit the previous step and add to your larger list before narrowing it down. More ideas may come to you throughout the course of a week, so don’t feel pressured to finish the activity in one sitting.
Once complete , though, you should have your list of top 5-10 core values that you personally value.
Conclusion: Your Child’s Personal Core Values
Once your child (or you) has created a list of personal values, he or she can start asking the question, “is my behavior in alignment with my personal values?”
And that’s where your child can begin to intrinsically motivate him or herself to make different decisions. Moreover, knowing that set of values will help him or her feel happier and more fulfilled. Suggest that your teen keeps the list of values posted in his or her room (even turn it into a vision board) to keep the core values front and center and remind him or her to live in alignment with them, daily.
Let us know how this went for your own child (or you). Come back and leave us a comment below!