â€œFamily Valuesâ€ is a term so high jacked by politics and politicians in recent times that it has come to be viewed in an almost negative light; as a convenient cover, a means to push a particular agenda.
And yet when you think about it, there are some family values that are universal to all of us, that each of us will agree are worthy of enshrining, of passing on from one to another generation. These are timeless and do not alter with political expediency or a change in guard.
Family values often get divided across political and religious beliefs. Regardless of your political leanings or religious convictions, there are some qualities that are so universal as to transcend such groupings and communal segregations.
You can always tell your child for instance, the virtue of hard work and responsibility. Hard work as a means for academic excellence and success in life is a universal truth, and no one religion or political party can deny.
Compassion is another quality that is universally to be recommended. Though there may be disagreements on social benefits and government doles and the way that the tax dollar is spent, there can be no divergent views on being compassionate towards others less fortunate.
Helping a neighbor in need or a friend at an opportune moment, contributing to a worthy cause, these can all be inculcated in children by word and action of their parents.
Love and closeness of family members, a loving and supporting atmosphere in the home is another value that no one can argue against.
That a loving home produces productive, well adjusted and happy individuals also makes this an ideal to be universally aspired to.
Honesty, uprightness and a sense of justice is something else that should be instilled into young minds, so that they value it.
If well taught, this sense of fair play will not let a child cheat in school, will not make them pull down a colleague to get ahead at work and will ensure that they are honorable in all their dealings and relationships.
Family values, when well inculcated from early childhood, are something that give direction and meaning to a young life. They establish priorities in life as to what is really important. And it is never too early to instill good family values.
A toddler who lies about having broken a toy can gently be shown the error of their ways; a child finding school difficult may be encouraged to be more confident.
Family values need not be viewed with suspicion, they are something that can give kids the right start in life and benefit the community as a whole.