DP got me thinking this afternoon when he said he'd spent some time thinking (while doing the washing up) about which values we are imparting to our children (DD 3, DC2 still in utero ), deliberately or inadvertently. I was just getting in from work and he was just leaving for his, so we didn't really have time to get in to a juicy conversation about it, but it made me think, as I said. He said he'd concluded we consciously strive to instill an appreciation of nature and a sense of belonging within a family. He worried we weren't making enough of valuing creative expression (we used to make a lot of music together before parenthood). I think he used the term "values" pretty loosely, more in terms of what carries weight in our parenting. I think that if I can teach my DCs to value peace (as in stillness, quietness of mind, and that life can be rich and wonderous even when not much is going on) I will have given them a valuable gift. I worry that I am a bit of a laid back push-over and that DD is learning something about that, although I'm not quite sure what it is yet.
What values (in the same vague sense) do you impart to your children, deliberately or inadvertently?
As a musician myself who has had to put things aside a bit since having DS, I would say that despite not writing and recording my music like I did, I inadvertently sing all the time, making up songs, singing new words to existing songs, etc. But all the time. I think I used to do that before parenthood anyway! But it seems to have rubbed off on DS (2yrs) anyway, he's very singy! And I love that. He's also very expressive with his voice and I can only imagine that has something to do with the music too. I can only hope he will grow up with musical creativity.
As the mother of teenagers what I've learnt is that children pick up the values that you live. If you teach them not to lie or steal or bully and then do all of those things yourself then don't be surprised if they lie, steal and bully.
All my children have very diverse musical tastes as they were brought up with classical, pop, rock and world music played in the house. I was so proud when they were able to identify 7/8 and 9/8 rhythms as that is the sort of music they heard all the time. One has a stunning voice - another couldn't hold a tune in a bucket but hey that's genetics for you.