Saturday, March 30, 2013

Emphasing Values and Talents

Question: What values and/or talents did you really try to emphasize in your family and why?

Summary: As far as talents lots mentioned music, particularly piano. They also talked about exposing their kids to a variety of things and then supporting them in their interests. “If they work hard at what they value now, they will work hard at what they value later.” Values talked about were honesty, work, and being "anxiously engaged" in something good.

Answers:

Kenneth and Catherine
Each of our children learned to play the piano and most learned another instrument and the girls took dance lessons.  They were all involved in singing groups in high school.  It was important for them to develop their cultural talents which pays many dividends in their confidence and ability to contribute in many ways.

Karen and Lance
We gave them piano lessons from a neighbor, sports, cheer, and other things that seemed important at the time. Our children have gone on to have their children taught in various things. We had the Road Shows when ours were  growing up and so that gave them a music/acting experience. Anything they showed an interest we tried to encourage that for them. We didn't have a lot of money to spend on extra things but they also weren't so "busy" all the time. They have magnified the things they have learned and passed them on to their children.

Jane and Samuel
We wanted our kids to have faith in their Father in Heaven.  College education was important and all participated.  We wanted them to work hard.  We wanted to stay close as a family and be friends and associates for this life and eternity.  We encouraged music and physical activity and love of nature and tidiness and organization....even though the mom is not the most organized and tidy.  We tried to create some traditions that keep us close and give pleasant memories. Interest in and acceptance of other cultures because of travel and interaction has also been important.

Mary (and Robert)
I don't know that there are specific talents we encouraged in our family.  Certainly we all participated in music in one way or another.  We just sang in the car or while doing chores etc.  It's something we enjoyed and we shared it with our children.  The talents that we encouraged were discovered individually by each child.  We tried to give them opportunities to experience new things but they eventually found their own niche and developed their skills. 

Our family values were dictated by gospel principles.  We taught them what Heavenly Father expects of them and offered them help as they needed it.  I have often thought back to an incident in my young teen years.  My dad was taking me to a shopping center to pick up something at a store there.  We saw a bunch of kids just sitting around.  Nobody looked particularly happy or entertained.  I remember saying to my dad that I thought it was kind of sad that they had nothing better to do than to sit around a shopping mall and be bored. I was on my way to Mutual and I looked forward to it. 

I guess that is one of the primary values that we have in our family - to be anxiously engaged in something.  Something useful, wholesome, enriching, entertaining....we are also really good at having fun. 

Marsha (and Richard)
First of all, integrity and learning to work were values we emphasized in addition to spiritual values.  We figured that if the children learned to work, gain satisfaction from a job well done and exercise the self -discipline to stick with a task until it was done, these skills would transfer to whatever they valued in life.  I remember gaining some insight when I heard the statement, “If they work hard at what they value now, they will work hard at what they value later.”  I realized that although my daughter wasn’t interested in learning to sew or do some of the things I might have liked her to do, she worked hard at her cheerleading, which was her value at the time.  It has proven to be true.  She is a hard worker and now works hard at caring for her husband and children, fulfilling her church responsibilities, etc. and yes, she has done some sewing.  When she wanted to learn was the best time to teach her and others did that for me.

We valued music and gave our children piano lessons.  Although they did not excel because other interests interfered in the high school years, I do not regret the lessons and practicing.  I know they helped develop character and discipline as well as a greater appreciation for and love of music.

Sports were not our focus but we did have children excel.  Our daughter dived in college and won championships and a son took state in pole vaulting, however, it was always their interest and our role was merely supportive.  Their schedule worked with our family schedule and it was all made possible without creating a strain on our family time.  One daughter excelled on the violin…again totally her desire, which we supported with lessons and orchestra opportunities.

It was our intent to expose our children to opportunities and support the ones they chose.  Interestingly enough, they each chose quite different things which I thought was healthy.  Our oldest son led the way with pole vaulting in high school, which perked the interest of later sons and now is being pursued by grandchildren.  However, it has all come naturally as the child has chosen to participate. Some are now into volleyball and tennis.  We love the variety.

Our children participated in local community and school programs as they chose such as swimming and diving, baseball, and basketball.  They were disciplined and committed because they wanted to do them.  We didn’t have to push them and when they were ready to quit and move on so were we.

Cynthia (and Brad)
Besides the basic values--morality, hard work, etc. I think the one we emphasized most, which actually encompasses all good values, was honesty, total and complete honesty.  When someone breaks that trust, it is difficult to get it back. Today, I think a lot of people fudge on honesty, especially when it comes to lying to themselves.

Abigail (and Martin)
Values and talents
Above all else we stressed the importance of honesty and integrity.  If we found out a child had been dishonest, they were punished once for whatever they had done wrong and double that for not being truthful about it.

Talents
We introduced the children to a variety of things and allowed their natural inclinations to direct them.  I do feel badly that one of my daughters wanted to take an art class and I discouraged her because I was afraid the grading system MIGHT affect her GPA adversely.

Next week's question: What did you do on a regular basis that kept you balanced/happy/relaxed while raising kids?

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