One of my favorite parenting sentence starters is, “In our family we…” and it’s usually followed by, something like:
- Are gentle.
- Use words to explain how we feel.
- Think about others and ourselves.
- Bathe / shower at least 3 times a week…
And more, some invented on the spot when necessary. Predictably, as my children get older, they take on some of these statements.
Me: “In our family, we use words to tell people when things bother us.”
Daughter: “That’s not true! She just punched me!”
All of this speaks to the vision we have of our family, the reality, and knowing we need to strive for shared goals. Those goals need to be realistic yet lofty, thought through by every member of the family, and keep everyone in mind without drastically compromising your sense of self. This is what I have been calling your family mission. It was the first part of your family map.
Enter Bruce Feiler and the chapter about “branding your family”. Another great way to think about these same ideas.
We’ll be working on our family mission for the next couple of weeks. I have been taking this book very slowly– letting it all seep in. It adjusts and polishes many things I’ve been writing and thinking about for a long time. It’s nice to have another perspective. Thanks, Bruce!
P.S. Check back on the family meeting post to see how our family meetings are going as a result of our simple changes.