We've been talking a lot about our family values. Hubby wants to chunk the rules and just have the values instead. I don't feel that most of our kids can handle something this abstract. Yes, they come up with loopholes or behaviors that the rules don't address, but they still need concrete rules. I agree that we can let the kids know why it is a rule, by giving them the value that it falls under.
When it comes to values instead of rules I added two new letters to RRHAFTBA. Now it is pronounced "raft ball" instead of "raft bah." That's because loving and learning are not really rules.
OUR FAMILY VALUES
This is a loving family with strong values. Our family is always Respectful, Responsible, Honest, Fun To Be Around, Loving and Learning (RRHAFTBALL), and in return we enjoy the rights and responsibilities that go with being part of this loving family. We do NOT try to make everything equal for everyone. We respect that each of our children has a different personality, is a different age, and has different wants, needs and abilities. Unlike the FAIR club, being part of our family means we sometimes cut you some slack and sometimes we’re here to help you live up to being more than average or equal.
1. R – Respectful – We are kind, courteous, and helpful in everything we say or do. Think before you act and remember words can leave irreparable scars on your relationships. Leave the world better than you found it.
2. R – Responsible – We meet our rights and responsibilities. We are also responsible for taking care of ourselves, and taking care of the people around us –especially the people that love us to the best of our ability. We love each other and are there to help.
3. H – Honest – Not only does this mean not lying, but includes being honest and true to ourselves. It also means being open and honest about our feelings and needs to those who love and care about us and are trying to help us (like therapists). We do not gossip or tattle. It is not tattling if it is to keep someone safe. We do not discuss/ burden our friends and others with our issues. We tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4. AFTBA – And Fun To Be Around – We try to be fun to be around all the time. This is not easy to do, but all of us are capable of it. If you are not feeling fun to be around, then you need to think about how to fix this (you can ask for help), and/or how to protect others from your bad mood or whatever is making you not fun to be around (this might mean staying away from others while you work this through). Your attitude is contagious.
We think about others. How are they feeling? If they are upset, is it helping if you are talking about your latest accomplishment? We use pleasant, calm voices. This does not mean we don’t get excited or talk about things we are interested in, it just means others have rights too – do they want to hear the “I hate Barney” song, or anything else, sung at the top of your voice while they are stuck sitting next to you in the car? Is it fair to demand they sit in silence or whisper because you are in a bad mood or have a headache?
5. L – Loving - Sharing and caring. We watch out for (actively helping) the emotional and physical well being of all family members including ourselves. This means having give and take in our relationships with each other (not expecting others to do all the work and caring). We work on issues we might have with being loving. Isolating yourself is not usually going to help you with this.
We are Christians and believe we should love our neighbors. This means we ask ourselves what would Jesus do? We act with kindness and charity and help others. We attend church and have Christian values.
We love ourselves. This means we take care of our bodies and our minds. We do not do things that hurt our bodies (like drugs and caffeine). We exercise and eat right. We ask for and accept help. We participate in therapy and take our medications. We try to fill our mind with things that are good for us (positive media and friendships), and avoid things and people that could tempt us down paths that don’t help us and might hurt us.
6. L – Learning- We are always trying to improve ourselves and our lives. We educate ourselves both in school and about being a better person. We want to be productive, helpful citizens of the world. We believe we should be the best person we can possibly be.