img_13231Maxx:  valuing beauty, nature, a stunning sunset.

Lately, I’ve been a bit obsessed about values.  I’m in a coaching process with Andrea at Kyosei Consulting: and attended a workshop this week with Richard Barrett of Barrett Values Centre and what I’m learning is that clarity of values guides thinking, informs decision making, helps to align relationships.

All in all – knowing, understanding and living by your values is pretty darn important.

So, I’ve been obsessing a bit.  Have I been imparting my values in parenting Maxx?  Have I been helping him establish his own set of ‘good’ values?  I want him to have good values, because I’m learning, the more I dive into this that there are values that are not so good.  

I mean really – what set of values have the ‘masters of the Financial Universe’ been operating from?  And did their moms screw up?  Their moms are likely joining them on those obscenely indulgent trips to overpriced resorts on the lavishly appointed private planes.  What I learned from Richard this week is that values have a tendency to influence organizations from the ‘top down’ so maybe it’s mom’s fault.  

Or maybe, all over the USA, moms are sitting in their suburban living rooms, heads in hands, asking themselves the question, “What sort of values did I impart in my parenting for this to happen?”

As much as I try to live in the moment with Maxx, I also find myself projecting into the future a lot these days wondering what sort of adult he’s going to grow into.  Will he be self sufficient?  Will he be caring and considerate?  Will he be a good husband, a good partner, a good employer (mom can hope), or a good employee (nothing wrong with that!), a decent parent?  

I’ve been trying to kind of casually, without pulling out a flipchart at the dinner table, chat about values pretty much whenever I have his undivided attention lately.  Which means I’m driving him places a lot.  

We actually had a pretty good conversation yesterday on the chairlift before he blew me off to go snowboarding with his buddies.  

What I see in my teenage son is that he holds pretty strong values around the importance of family.  He jumps at the chance to visit with cousins, will get on the phone with grandma for a long chat, shows respect to both his parents, and both his step-parents and adores his step-brothers and half brother.  

When we’re in downtown Vancouver, I watch him dig into his pocket and hand off his entire allowance to anyone sitting on a sidewalk with a cup below their hanging, dejected face. 

He’s gaining a sense of pride in achievement, and seems to be valuing his educational process as much as the social life he enjoys so much at school.

He’s a loyal friend.  ….and he has a lot of friends.  

But there’s a few glimmers here and there that I still have some work to do in this area.  We’re struggling a bit with honesty and his (culture’s) sense of entitlement.  I don’t know how to fully address this as a parent and keep reading, consulting professionals, searching other blogs, harping at him about it, and just generally fretting about this one.  

When I witness my boy making decisions that are dishonest, I can’t help but ask myself, “What sort of example am I setting, that allowed this to happen?”

As I study more about the importance of values within corporate and government structures, I keep looking at my family unit and wondering, “am I getting it right?”