What family values do you consider most important for your children to embrace?
In order for our kids to grow up and live happy, productive lives they need guidance. They need our direction so they can adopt the proper family values as their compass.
Embedding the right attitudes and values in our children early will keep them from running amuck like some of our bankers have done lately.
Five family values that our children and bankers need
I could have just as easily titled this post, “How To Avoid a Future Financial Crisis“. It seems the parents of some of our bankers forgot to teach their children some very basic family values.
Gordon Brown, the English Prime Minister, spoke this week about our bankers’ bad behavior and the need for a return to family values. Amen.
I know that not all bankers are bad. In fact, I’m sure it was a minority that led the financial industry astray. However, it still can’t hurt to emphasize to all bankers what we expect from them in the future in the same way we need to teach these values to all our kids.
Let’s imagine for a moment that our children are going to grow up to be leaders in the financial and banking industry.
Here are the family values I suggest they need to adhere to:
1. Work hard and do your best.
I think it is important that we teach our kids the proper work ethic. They need to understand that what is right is putting in an honest days work for an honest dollar.
Whatever their profession, our children need to know they should earn their living by providing a valuable product or service to others. It is not right to cheat, scam, trick, con, deceive, swindle, steal or otherwise bamboozle people out of their money!
2. Tell the truth and be honest.
Don’t we all want our children to be honest with us? Honesty is the bedrock for proper relationships.
On the other hand, lying just creates a mess. One that usually unravels into a crisis. We all know that bad things happen in life. We all make mistakes. The sooner the truth is out in the open, the quicker we can deal with it and mitigate the damage.
Honesty truly is the best policy. Let me emphasize this. Honesty truly is the best policy.
3. Don’t hurt yourself or others.
Doing things that will cause harm to yourself or other people is senseless. We have to instill a sense of empathy and compassion in our children for all people.
We teach our kids not to hit, bite or throw things at each other when they are little. As they get older, we guide them not to take unnecessary risks in other areas. We teach them to abstain from risky sexual behavior, to avoid driving drunk and to be wise with their money.
Hopefully, if we’ve done our jobs, our kids will grow up respecting themselves and others enough not to do stupid things that could cause substantial pain like many are feeling today.
4. Don’t take what isn’t yours.
This one seems so obvious, yet it clearly needs to be restated. Let me try to make the basic laws of ownership as plain as possible:
- If you didn’t have it first or it wasn’t given to you, then it is not yours!
- If it isn’t yours, then you need to leave it alone.
- If you borrow it, you need permission and then you need to treat it with an extra level of care beyond even what you would do if it was yours.
Bankers are you listening? Parents, I beg you for the sake of everyone, please teach this to your children. It could really help avoid a lot of trouble down the road.
5. Treat everyone like you want to be treated.
Ah, the golden rule is truly supreme. I guess it is sort of an umbrella policy that covers everything. It is so simple, yet so powerful. I love it!
What if Bernie Madoff had lived by this one straightforward, uncomplicated, elementary rule of life? Hundreds, if not thousands, of people might still have money to retire.
This isn’t rocket science or a complex ponzi scheme. It is Life 101. Who forgot to teach it to these people when they were kids? Let’s not let it happen again!
These family values could save our children from the next crisis
There. This stuff is pretty easy, isn’t it? Let’s get back to the basics people!
Do we really need to know chemistry, economics or genetic engineering if no one taught us these values first? I don’t think so. It sends shivers down my spine.
Let’s all make a commitment today to emphasize these family values in our homes. Let’s drive them into our children’s minds and hearts to the point that they will never forget them. Let’s all work together to avoid another crisis, be it global or just within our families.
I hope you agree! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Think of it as signing a petition or firing a shot to be heard around the world! Thanks!
Photo by theritters