Family Mission Statement - Why & How to Write a Family Vision Statement

Family mission statements ...

... what are they really? Some parents might see them as a way to push their ideals onto their children, but this is not really their intended purpose.

Corporations have mission statements which are lists of priorities on which they've built their business. In the case of a company, you can be fired for not adhering to the company's value system, but a child's sense of belonging should never be at risk for failing to follow certain rules.

A company’s mission statement is a reflection of ideas that encourage individuals to operate with a sense responsibility to themselves and others. The main purpose of a mission statement is to give those involved in upholding it a better understanding of the people around them. We all have different value systems—each is significant—and knowing where someone stands can help to eliminate conflict and misunderstanding.

A family mission statement can create a deep sense of belonging, meaning and common purpose.

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There are many benefits to the process of writing a family vision statement. One is allowing everybody to have a voice in making important decisions that will guide individual behavior. The process of developing the statement is a learning experience because you'll get to see what your family members value. Getting to know another person's value system allows you to see the world through their eyes.

Writing a family mission statement can be an eye-opening experience. You might find yourself taken aback by what your spouse or family members find important, even though you interact with them on a daily basis and think you know them well.

Knowing which issues are important to the people you live with helps you to understand their character. Allowing everybody to list what they deem important is essential because communication about these core issues is often lost in the mundane business of running a home and family. A family vision statement helps keep people connected and the lines of communication open.

When you sit down to write your family vision statement, be aware of everybody's feelings on specified issues. Keep an open mind and make sure to give adequate attention to differences of opinion. List all your values, but also be prepared to have them questioned. This is how the process is designed: to examine values and give family members insights into what each individual feels is important for living together.

After a family mission statement has been written and signed, it should not be laminated. Parents and children grow and values change. A mission statement should be considered a living document.

Priorities change with time and development. Being adaptable to change is a crucial element. Creating a mission statement means your home is democracy, not a dictatorship. Allowing your family mission statement to evolve will ease the burden of sticking to rules that are no longer effective. While core values may not change, people do, which means the rules need to be flexible.

Having a statement that ties your family values together creates a greater sense of unity, which is particularly important during adolescence.

Some family mission statements include codes such as, Honor each other, We are a family even when we are apart, and, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Creating a memorable tag line or saying helps everyone act from shared values, even under duress. Creating unity inside the family makes for stronger ties when your children are away from home.

If you have worked for a company that has a mission statement then you know the importance of having everybody operate from a shared set of beliefs. A mission statement is more than just a bunch of words on paper—it shows how much you value life and integrity and how much you care for each other. To learn more about creating a family code and guiding your children to live from it, read my parenting book Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting, which teaches parents how to raise children to live their lives with vision, integrity, humanity and strength.

Creating a family mission statement is an excellent way to give the people you love a chance to be part of something bigger than themselves. Start today and update your vision as necessary.

Doing so will fill your heart with joy as you watch your children mature into caring human beings and pass this tradition on to their children.

Family Mission Statement - Family Values

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