Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Family Mission Statement

A few Christmases back my parents bought Hubby Steven Covey's The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. We both thought it seemed like a great idea, placed it on the bookshelf & promptly forgot about it (sorry Mom & Dad). Fast forward 2 years and 1 additional kiddo later, Hubby & I we're visiting during our 10 hour Fall vacation road trip. We were talking about the need to set more consistent boundaries for the kids, how we feel they are not responsive to our discipline & that we need an action plan while they are young that will translate and transfer into adolescence. Enter 7 Habits … Mom & Dad, you do know a thing or two.

Our fall vacation, which was the impetuous for our Family Mission Statement

Hubby & I are still working our way through the book, but we have completed a family mission statement. I can not stress enough that we DID NOT create a list of rules on our own & present it to the kids…that approach will not work. To steal a line from a wise man I know, "People will support what they help create." Same goes with kids. 

Here's how we did it:

  • We started off brainstorming with the kids asking them how their ideal family would function and treat one another. We took the opportunity to talk about emotions and how our actions & reactions are affected by our interactions with one another.

  • Over the course of a month, we meet weekly to refine and prioritize the list. The kid's truly shocked us with how much they understood…keep in mind they are 6 & 3.

  • Finally, we agreed upon phrases that captured the essence of how we wanted our family to run. After some slight tweaks, the "Family Chart" (the kiddos have a chore chart so they relate to the mission statement as simply a family version) was printed off, signed by every family member and placed in the family room to remind us of the agreement we made with one another.

Our Family Mission Statement reads:

To avoid disappointing our family we will work to:

Respect ourselves and others by telling the truth, listening, using manners and being trustworthy

Remain happy by being joyful, grateful & our genuine selves

Always be consistent, productive, and hard working

Create a home that is organized, tidy, safe and fun

Be a cheerleader family
Keep God and family at the center of our daily lives

Love each other unconditionally

During our discussions we wanted to learn what was at the root of the kid's tantrums and discovered it was disappointment. Whether it be not getting a turn, having to eat vegetables at dinner, or not being understood….being disappointed (parents & kids alike) was what needed to be minimized. 

It isn't always roses around here, but having the mission statement makes getting back on track a whole lot easier. 

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