From June 2 to June 5, the Commonwealth of Nations celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, which marks 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms, and the Commonwealth. The 4-day commemorations were observed in the capital cities of member countries, including the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and more.
To those unfamiliar, the Commonwealth is a voluntary association that comprises 54 independent countries. They share common goals to promote development, democracy, and peace. According to TransCultural Group’s June 2022 newsletter, their charter includes democracy, human rights, peace, tolerance, respect and understanding, sustainable development, and protecting the environment, among others.
Many of the values they promote somehow remind me of the principles we also need to have in our homes. Let’s talk about these values briefly:
At home, democracy is important to make family members feel involved and important. While children need guidance and discipline, involving children in some decision-making activities can make them more cooperative and obedient. You can begin by asking them what movies they want to watch on your movie night, what board games they want to play on your game night, or what activities your children want to do over the weekend. You may also want to involve them in setting consequences for the rules they fail to oblige or chores they don’t do.
The home needs to be a safe space for members where human rights are upheld and protected. More than guidance, our children need our care and protection. They also need education, health attention, and proper upbringing. Finally, our children also need protection from physical and mental harm and discriminating acts.
Tolerance, respect, and understanding
Just like nations, family members may differ when it comes to beliefs, aspirations, and opinions. Therefore, parents and children need to understand and respect each other’s differences. This may come as a challenge, especially to parents of teenagers, but setting a good example of respect and understanding is very important in imparting these values to our children.
Freedom of expression
Open communication is one of the keys to a successful relationship. Whether between spouses or parent-child relationships, allowing open dialogue and respectful communication develops trust in the family. It helps avoid unnecessary arguments, solves conflicts, and strengthens bonds.
Rule of law
In a democracy, the rule of law means that everyone is under the law, even the powerful ones. It also means that laws are created in a clear process and not just by the whim. Applying this at home would create a fairer and more peaceful living. Children would most likely be cooperative and respectful when the rule of law is observed at home. For example, when parents play no favorites among their children. Of course, rules and practices must be age-appropriate, and we need to let our children understand them. Children may be given more independence as they grow older, while some rules do not apply to little ones.
Good governance in nations translates to being good leaders and parents at home. Aside from providing for the basic needs of our children, it also means ensuring reasonable rules are set and followed. We need to teach children accountability over their actions to raise responsible individuals.
Sustainable development and protecting the environment
Families are the basic unit of society. Whatever children learn and develop at home, they are most likely to apply them outside and contribute well to the community. We can teach our children about sustainable development and protecting the environment by introducing and practicing recycling, upcycling, and the use of eco-friendly materials.
While some of the Commonwealth values apply to nation-building and peace-keeping, the values above are undoubtedly helpful in creating a peaceful home and supporting the holistic development of children.