Having a family mission statement could be one of the most important take-away my book THE 10 KIDMANDMENTS. If you have not identified what is important to you and your family, now is the time. Once the kids become teenagers, the chances of making an impact are greatly diminished. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it, I would just encourage you to do this sooner rather than later.
Why: If your children are struggling with being respectful, motivated, ethical etc, chances are they don’t understand their purpose in life- Kidmandment #1. If this is the case, they are living someone else’s dream instead of their own. This causes unnecessary challenges that create negative energy and negative results, neither of which do you want in your home. The solution to these unwanted problems is to teach them AND personally live a life dedicated to serving others. Selfish living on a parents behalf will always out trump anything you say. If you think happiness can be found in the next pair of shoes, trip or new car, you are demonstrating to your kids the opposite of a life that we teach in the book. True happiness can only be found when we as something in life that allows us to focus on serving/helping others rather than living a life serving ourselves.
How: Sit down with your family and explain to them why you want to do this exercise (answer is above). Obviously it is not because you want to fix them. That will go over like a lead balloon. It needs to be presented as something you have been thinking about, something that has been missing in your life, something that you need their help with to become a better parent, spouse, sibling etc. Like most things in life, timing is everything, too young- they don’t understand what you are talking about so you own it; too old- they think you and this exercise is stupid. Emphasize that a family discussion about what we want to accomplish as a family, what we want to be known for in our community, what values we want to seek and create in our friendships is necessary to living fulfilled lives.
Benefits: Once done, it can be used to “referee” almost any family problem. We agreed that we value …; the reason she is not necessarily a good friend is because she doesn’t share the same vales that we do; let’s look at what we agreed to and we can see “that” is not acceptable in our family because it contradicts our mission in life.
Sit down THIS WEEK and create a Family Mission Statement with your spouse and children. It will change your life.