Years 5-6 Subchapter: Identity – Who am I?

What do I value?

An illustration of a happy young person with six emojis around them describing their values of relaxation, love, sharing good ideas, helping people, humour, social justice, and equality.

 

Values

Our values are the things that we think are important – happiness, friends and family, or feeling loved and respected. Part of being an individual person is being able to make up our mind about what is important to us, what we think is worth more and what is worth less.

Values help us determine what is right or wrong, what we do or don’t like and whether something is important to us or not. Values help to form the attitudes and the goals that we set for ourselves, and guide our actions, behaviours and how we live our lives!

 

Can our values change?

This is a split-frame image; the left panel is an illustration of a young kid with their parents and four values are shown in emojis – love, helping people, sharing good ideas, and social justice. The right panel shows the same kid older and happy with friends; three values are shown in emojis – keeping calm, sense of humour, and equality.

 

As we grow and change the priority of our values can change. For example, when we are young, we may value the same things as our parents. As we get older, we may start to be influenced by the things our friends or the media see as important.

 

Why do we need to know our values?

The values we consider to be the most important in our lives are our personal (or ‘core’) values. They’re broad concepts that can be applied over and over again across a range of situations. Our personal values are a central part of our identity: who we are and who we want to be.

 

An illustration of a young person at school observing a situation involving three other people that doesn't match their values of love, equality, social justice, and helping people.

 

Identifying and understanding our values can be difficult at first but it is an important exercise. The more we understand our values, the more we can use them to guide us in making good choices and take appropriate action in any situation.

There are many types of values, but a simple list might include:

Acceptance Faith Order
Achievement Family Peace
Authenticity Fitness Perseverance
Balance Freedom Quality
Bravery Friendship Respect for others
Care for others Fun Responsibility
Commitment Generosity Security
Competence Gratitude Self-respect
Fairness Harmony Self-Control
Cooperation Honesty Serenity
Courage Humour Service to others
Creativity Independence Simplicity
Dependability Innovation Spirituality
Discipline Joy Stability
Diversity Kindness Success
Effectiveness Knowledge Teamwork
Empathy Love Well-being
Equality Loyalty Winning
Excellence Openness Wisdom