Two daughters were comparing the less-than-desirable physical attributes they inherited from their father. The older one said, “I hate my freckles from Dad.” Her unsympathetic younger sister replied, “At least you got his freckles. I got his eyebrow!”*
Certain family traits pass naturally from one generation to the next – but values of faith and character may require a bit more effort. What values do you hope to nurture in your children and grandchildren?
Here are four everyday ways you can build a foundation of family values that will last for years to come:
- Play together. Enjoying time together as a family helps ease tensions, establish a joyful home, and create a sense of belonging. Research shows that children from families who regularly indulge in play have high self-esteem, and parents report increased creativity and better problem-solving abilities at work.
- Pray together. When parents and grandparents pray with little ones, they model how to talk to God. The action of praying together helps cultivate gratitude, deepen family unity, build faith, and demonstrate how to trust in God.
- Share together. Part of creating a strong family heritage is sharing from the heart. Children love hearing funny or meaningful family stories from years past. You can also talk about struggles you’ve faced and your personal experiences with God. This builds a legacy of faith, nurtures connection, and keeps the lines of honest communication open, even as they grow into adults.
- Give together. When your family values generosity, the options are endless for creating impact together. Families can give of their time by volunteering, collecting donations to support a local cause, or even giving financial gifts together. A Donor Advised Fund allows you to fund a single giving account, then direct individual gifts to support charities you care about. You can make it a family affair by involving your children and grandchildren and asking where they would like to give.
*Opening story from Readers’ Digest