The more I dig into the core of who I am as a person, the more thankful I am that I was raised with a strong set of values. As time goes on, it seems as though these values are countercultural.
When did we become a society of ME rather than a society of WE? When did we stop being a part of the world and instead start thinking the world revolved around us? When was it decided that kids needed rooms and garages full of toys?
I struggle with questions like this on a daily basis.
It feels weird to even say this, but I am fighting for vintage values in my modern family.
Vintage Values For A Modern Family
1. Delayed gratification.
When I was a child, I remember saving my allowance because I wanted to buy a Discman. I screamed out loud when I got a super cool stereo system for my thirteenth birthday. I’ve decided the more I give my kids things, the more things they want. If they work hard for them, they’ll appreciate them more.
2. Muscle into hard work, especially when it comes to chores around the house.
Hard work is hard and there is a reason for that. We believe in working hard to get the job done and most importantly, to do the job well. I do not want my kids to ever think they can get away with doing a job at less than their best- there are no shortcuts to success in life. And there certainly are no short cuts when it comes to having a clean bathroom.
3. Own your mistakes.
In today’s modern world, it appears as though a lot of people decide to blame someone else when they make a mistake instead of just owning it. The blame game has no place in my family. We are fighting to be a family where it is safe for mistakes to happen. And as a mother I will do my best to extend grace upon grace upon grace.
4. Spend quality time together that doesn’t involve technology.
Our entire generation is plugged in and online. While technology is amazing (hello, iPad I’m looking at you), when we unplug, we give ourselves a chance to plug in to each other and be fully present. This is one that I struggle with a lot, the income I bring into my family comes from the life I lead online. I’m working on it and as of late I’ve been enjoying playing tons of board games with my kids.
5. Eat dinner as a family.
As our kids get older and start to have more activities outside the home, I know it is going to be tough to make this happen every night. But on the nights we can, we sit down together for dinner. We say grace and we talk together about the thorns and roses of our day. I’m obsessed with trying to get my family to linger longer at the table so, I often have just a little taste of something sweet to offer them at the end of the meal. Our meals are never fancy and sometimes, I even cheat with disposable plates.
6. If you’ve given your word, don’t back out.
When I give my word, I mean it. I follow through at all costs (unless there are circumstances beyond my control). As a result of this, Malone knows that if I say something will happen, it does. This works with both consequences for poor behavior/choices and for fun activities. It seems small now but as my kids grow older, I want them to know that giving their word matters. It is of great value and following through leads to many good things.
7. There is no I in TEAM.
Our family unit needs to function like a team. We need to be a family that is for each other and the other’s biggest fan. When we are looking out for our teammate’s best interest, we all win.
I remember having to run laps and shout that during 6th grade basketball. It still rings true today.
8. Love is an action word.
Not only do we love our family and friends, we look for ways to love our neighbors as ourselves and serve our community. In our family, we need to be quick to offer help to someone who needs it. Love means being quick to listen and slow to speak. Love means we fight for each other instead of with each other. Love means that we serve each other joyfully. We love because God first loved us.
What are your core family values? What vintage values are important to your modern family?
This post was inspired by The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny. St. Louis Cardinals manager Matheny shares his tough-love philosophy for children’s team sports that translate to everyday life. Join From Left to Write on February 12th as we discuss The Matheny Manifesto. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.