Human and Parenting Values
July 30, 2018 9:35 AM   Subscribe

What are some short phrases to teach life values? I am making a book for my child containing brief statements like: Do no harm. Look for beauty. You belong here. Animals are family. Each phrase is paired with a family photo. What human values do you follow that can be summed up in a quick phrase?
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Human Relations (39 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
We always say, "trying is important." (trying new things, not giving up on something before you've tried it)
posted by xo at 9:37 AM on July 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

Look for the helpers.

First, do no harm.

Do unto other as you would have them do unto you.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:37 AM on July 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Never judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes.
posted by gudrun at 9:52 AM on July 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Be Yourself.
Be kind.
posted by SyraCarol at 9:56 AM on July 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Maximize your potential
Be quick, but don't hurry
If you borrow it, give it back
If you turned it on, turn it off
If you opened it, close it
If you used it, put it back
If you want to use it, ask.
If you break it, fix it.
Please and thank you.
The absence of a no does not mean yes
The want does not give you the right
They keep score for a reason. Don't be afraid to compete. Don't be afraid to lose. Be humble in victory.
Always offer chocolate to your Dad
posted by AugustWest at 9:57 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

At the end of this day, the world will either be a more or less kind, compassionate and loving place because of your presence. Your move.
posted by Sassyfras at 10:00 AM on July 30, 2018

“Find your own way to say I love you.” As a parent I don’t want my kids to feel obligated or pressured to hug/kiss/make physical contact with anyone if they don’t want to. (“You HAVE to give Grandpa a hug before we leave.”) Instead they can come up with their own ways of showing love.
posted by not_the_water at 10:15 AM on July 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Never eat the last cookie.
posted by madajb at 10:22 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Assume positive intent.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:26 AM on July 30, 2018

Choose to be kind
Listen more than you speak
posted by goggie at 10:32 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

One of my role models growing up had a slightly more British variant of "look for the helpers", which worked for us: "People are better than you think".
posted by Flora Poste at 10:34 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you don't like it, don't do it to someone else.

When you smile at someone, it makes their day better

If you can't finish something, ask for help. (this would be good with a picture of a family member eating a huge piece of cake)
posted by Mchelly at 10:39 AM on July 30, 2018

My uncle always says: the first 100 years are the hardest.
posted by Melismata at 10:45 AM on July 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

Character is destiny.
posted by tackypink at 10:47 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Kindness>Intelligence>Physical Beauty.
posted by stinkyspoons at 10:52 AM on July 30, 2018

Stop annoying your sister.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:12 AM on July 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

Question everything.
posted by Redstart at 11:13 AM on July 30, 2018

Two Wrongs don't make a Right.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:18 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

Practice Courage.
posted by IndigoOnTheGo at 11:36 AM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

It's nice to be smart, but it's smart to be nice.
posted by SinAesthetic at 11:41 AM on July 30, 2018 [3 favorites]

It's ok to make mistakes.
posted by nuclear_soup at 11:49 AM on July 30, 2018

My mom used to say "Just remember, you're not the only person in the world!" as a way to encourage me to consider how what I did (or didn't do) affected the people around me.
posted by Lexica at 11:54 AM on July 30, 2018

I use "We're all doing our best" as a personal reminder to be compassionate, even to folks who are sometimes frustrating.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 12:15 PM on July 30, 2018

Another one:

"The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post."
posted by gudrun at 12:50 PM on July 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

You are enough.
Worry is a misuse of your imagination.
It is only a thought, and a thought can be changed.
Expect miracles.
Be of service to others.
Always have a positive impact.
Do your best.
You are enough.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 1:21 PM on July 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

Never cruel or cowardly.
posted by vrakatar at 1:30 PM on July 30, 2018

A few from The Way of Mrs. Cosmopilite...

Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been.
Every second counts.
It's amazing what you see if you keep your eyes open.
There is a time and a place for everything.
There is no time like the present.
You've got to learn to walk before you can run.

From Terry Pratchett's witch/teacher, Miss Tick: "If you trust in yourself....and believe in your dreams...and follow your star...’ll still be beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”

From me:
Pee *first.* (Take care of fundamentals.)
Kindness matters more than you know.
If it's hungry, feed it.
If it's broken, fix it.
If it's empty, fill it.
If it's full, empty it.
If it's sad or afraid, comfort it.
Return things better than you found them.
Notice and remember people's stories.
Think ahead. Plan ahead.
Write it down.
Be prepared.
Don't panic.
Know where the fuse box is.
Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.
Clean up as you go.
Don't put it down, put it away.
Don't go empty-handed.
Yes, sunscreen will pay off one day.
Be present. Show up for your life.
Being willing to learn matters.
Please, thank you, and excuse me will serve you well and in many situations.
Be nice to the cashier.
You're going to make mistakes. Learn how to apologize and mean it.
Be willing to work hard.
Hand-holding is vastly under-rated.
Be kind.
Be kind.
Be kind.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:20 PM on July 30, 2018

Don't measure your success against others
Kindness matters
Learn something new every day
posted by acidnova at 2:22 PM on July 30, 2018

!Defend the little ones
posted by speakeasy at 2:38 PM on July 30, 2018

If you don't ask, the answer is always no
posted by jasondigitized at 2:39 PM on July 30, 2018

When my kid is getting frustrated and overwhelmed we say "OK, let's calm down and think about the problem."

The other day his daycare teacher said she heard him saying it to himself 💕
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:55 PM on July 30, 2018 [10 favorites]

Courtesy of the adorable little Austin Perine, who hands out sandwiches to the homeless:

Don't forget to show love.
posted by penguin pie at 3:51 PM on July 30, 2018

AA has a bunch of good and generally applicable slogans:

"HALT" stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Check for and fix those problems before making big decisions.

"Play the tape forward." Some things are immediately good and eventually bad; this reminds us to consider the eventual bad.

"This too shall pass". Some things are immediately bad and eventually good; this reminds us to consider the eventual good.

From medical school:

"Watch one, do one, teach one." The three stages of learning.

From finance:

"The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent." Just because you're right doesn't mean you'll win. Know when to give up.

From cycling:

"Eat before you're hungry, drink before you're thirsty, shift before you're mashing." Anticipate needs. (Mashing means pedalling laboriously and slowly because you're in too high a gear.)

From dance:

"Make something of it." Typically used of an insignificant or mostly logistical piece of choreography, to remind us that every little bit counts.

"Fix it." Sometimes, you know what you're supposed to do, and there's nothing more to be said.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 5:38 PM on July 30, 2018

Everything in moderation (in regards to food).
posted by yawper at 5:58 PM on July 30, 2018

Summer camp lunchroom wisdom about taking care of each other: "You kill it, you fill it."
posted by wenestvedt at 7:32 PM on July 30, 2018

You are stronger than you think you are.

You are not alone. No matter how much it feels like no one else understands, whatever you are feeling, there is someone else out there right now feeling the same way.

Be true to yourself.
posted by Athanassiel at 12:01 AM on July 31, 2018

If you open the gate, close it.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:31 AM on July 31, 2018

People don't care that you made a mistake. They do care how you fix your mistake.
posted by magstheaxe at 12:58 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Don't lie.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 6:24 AM on August 12, 2018

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