i have read more and more lately about creating a mission statement for your family. i don’t necessarily think i need to write something down, but i do like the idea of thinking about what kind of home and family i would like to create with Jeff, Garrett and Vivian in the next 17 years or so.
i don’t think it is productive to have a goal in the traditional sense, where you are working toward something definite that could be reached or not reached…simply because i don’t think life works that way. It would be frustrating to create a specific destination and attempt to push our family toward it. This isn’t what i mean by goal here. What i mean is an “ideal” that you keep in mind each day. Thinking about it makes it easier to take little steps toward that ideal instead of floundering in the moments where i am not exactly at my best.
i read something today that hit home. If i were going to print something out and tape it to our wall as our Mission Statement, it would be pretty close to this:
Backbone families – Parents give their children the six critical life messages, democracy is a learned experience where children see their feelings and needs are respected and accepted and they also see that it is not always easy to juggle the wants and needs of all members of the family, mistakes are viewed as opportunities to grow, rules are simply and clearly stated, consequences for irresponsible behavior are either natural or reasonable, children are motivated to be all they can be, children receive lots of smiles and hugs, children get second opportunities, children learn to accept their own feelings and to act responsibly on those feelings through a strong sense of self-awareness, competency and cooperation are modeled and encouraged, love is unconditional, children are taught how to think, children are buffered from sexual promiscuity/drug abuse/suicide by three messages: I like myself, I can think for myself, There is no problem so great, it cannot be solved.
If you are interested in the source, click here to read the entire post on the Parenting Passageway. By the way, this site is one of my favorites. i often go there for inspiration and/or if i’m having trouble with a stage that one of the kids is going through.
So, if you sat down and thought about it, what would be your goal for your family?