Does Your Family Have a Mission Statement?
The idea of a mission statement is not new. Businesses have put in countless hours hashing out their mission statement. The idea then moved on to personal mission statements thanks to Stephen Covey among others. What if we applied this idea to our families? Or our classrooms? Would this empowering idea transform the families and classrooms just as it has transformed the business and personal development world?
Steps to Developing Your Family Mission Statement
Linda and Richard Eyre are leaders in the national movement toward more involved parenting and have written numerous books on parenting and children. In 2011 they wrote a blog in Success magazine entitled: Live by a Family Mission Statement.
In a nutshell this is how they suggest that a family might go about developing this all important statement;
- Call a family meeting and ask all the family members to think about their favorite words that would describe what they think the family should be and what they really want the family to accomplish together.
- Some important questions you might ask are: How should we treat each other? How is our family different and special? How can our family be the best we can be? What are your dreams for the family? Write the brainstorming ideas on a whiteboard.
- Next have each family member spend a few private minutes alone writing or drawing or both what they think the mission of the family should be. Each member can include their favorite words or ideas from the previous discussion.
- When the family members get back together, everyone shares ideas and develops a two or three sentence paragraph that everyone can agree on as the family mission statement.
- Next take that paragraph and identify two or at most three words that clearly describe the family mission. For the Eyres, the words were: Broaden and Contribute. For my family, the words are: Encourage and Empower.
- Just as developing a mission statement can empower you personally and help you determine your priorities, it can transform the family as well. Whether you are planning a vacation or chastising a child for a behavior problem, you can ask both the child and yourself: “Am I following our family mission statement with my words and actions? If not, how can I change my words and actions so that I am true to the mission of our family?”
A family mission statement can be the North Star for the family. I can’t think of anything more powerful that you can do as a parent than to develop a mission statement and follow it.
Busy Educator’s Grab ‘N Go Lesson Plan:
Wyatt the Wonder Dog Learns about Cooperation
Wyatt wants to play Frisbee. Max want to build a fort and Callie wants to have tea party. How do the three friends reconcile their differences? Can it be done? When Wyatt doesn’t get his way, Max’s mother suggests he be the Superhero for the day. Join Wyatt as he learns how the magic of cooperation and compromise can bring the five friends closer together.