Top Ten Values for Today’s Youth

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I asked my 12 year-old granddaughter, “What are your most important values?” She answered, “What?” I said, “What’s gives you a sense of purpose in life?”

She said her family, sometimes, when they’re nice to her and continued by saying, “I want a lot of money and I want to be a famous singer.” (Sadly, she can’t sing.)

I asked her if her family had to be nice in order for her to love them. I should’ve asked how nice she was to them. She gave me a list of the rotten things her brother and sisters do to her and that her parents do nothing but yell and scream at her. The whole family swears at each other.

My daughter and son-in-law end every fight by telling her to be nice.

I asked if she wanted to have a family one day. She said, “Yuk, no. I want to do things when I want to do things and I’m not changing diapers.”

She said, “Grandma, you don’t have to get married just to have a baby.”


Stunned Grandma

Dear Grandma,

At many of our speaking engagements, most youth don’t know how to define themselves with values. They aren’t sure what values mean.

It’s good for all of us to define our top values with clarity and be the examples.

Our Top Ten Values:

  1. Loyalty – We help each other because we care – no strings attached, no back-biting or fault-finding
  2. Respect – One of the best signs of our self-worth is giving others importance
  3. Visions and actions – Develop talents and share them
  4. Honesty – Sincerity, not giving half-truths or justifying dishonesty
  5. Integrity – Do what you say you’re going to do and be honorable
  6. Forgiveness – Demonstrate mercy to others. (This doesn’t mean accepting maltreatment because you forgave someone)  
  7. Gratitude – Be deeply appreciative, gracious, and humble
  8. Wisdom – It’s the sum of sharing all you have done, with risks, successes, and failures – and having more faith than fear
  9. Resilience – Failures matter, if you grow, learn, and keep bouncing back from them
  10. Compassion – Try to understand and help others; you won’t always get your way, don’t choose your own comfort first – choose the right thing to do for others

 Research shows fewer people believe money is the meaningful measure of success, as in past decades, and more who view satisfying their own wants and desires as a sign of success.

Both are short-sighted.

We believe the time-honored values listed will help your granddaughter gain joy beyond instant gratification. Good job, Grandma.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri