As the saying goes, ‘Aim at nothing and you’ll hit it every time.’ This can apply to every aspect of your life, right? Whether it’s growth in your personal life, your spiritual walk, your education, your profession, your physical goals, your marriage, if you have no goals or expectations for yourself, how are you going to get there? If it’s not clearly defined, determined, stated, or proclaimed, how do you know, and work towards that goal? My husband and I both feed off each other, our wheels turn in different capacities, but we are continually trying to define and refresh our goals, and targets, to ensure we aren’t stagnant, but rather growing and working towards that target or expectations we’ve set for ourselves. No one is going to do it for you, you are in control of yourself, so if you’re looking for more for your family and in your home, tune in. This brings me to today’s topic of creating a ‘family creed’ if you will, for your home and family.
How to go about it… Huddle in and gather input from the kids at a few different ’meetings,’ make it fun and light hearted, keep an ongoing list to write down thoughts, then share and discuss with each other. Talk about what you each think is important as far as character goes, how they think you should behave, how you should treat others, work ethic, how you should make decisions and so on. Getting input from the whole family is essential so they feel part of the process, and it allows you to unite as a team. It also shows them that you value their input and opinion, which is validating and empowering to kids. Then, from that, you acknowledge and affirm what was discussed. These thoughts, ideas and standards can now help you create a mission statement, or creed for your family. The final statement might look like- ‘In our home we….,’ or ’As Diersing’s we…’ Then print it out, refer to it to redirect, and reinforce, behavior that YOU ALL determined was expected in your home as a family. Whether it’s kindness, perseverance, we can do hard things, respecting each other, keeping hands to ourselves, having integrity even when it’s hard, whatever it is that you and your family created, tailor it to your family values and desires. You could even make a fun acronym out of it. Family T-shirts!! I’m kidding on that one.
You are then able to look to it when an expectation is not followed, as well as use it to reinforce positive behaviors when they are occurring. And actually, it takes the ‘authoritativeness’ off of you, and onto the creed that they helped to create. Maybe it’s just me, but it can be exhausting to correct over and over and over again, and it’s quite freeing as far as I’m concerned to have this established. When it’s broken I say, ”What did you/we say about how we should behave in our family?” This reference enables them to own what they did and reminds them of what the expectations are. They are able to initiate the reflecting for themselves. It puts it in their lap and allows them to do the reflecting. It also alleviates the, ’because I told you so.’
Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but remember, all humans want to be heard and valued, so spend the time on brainstorming and discussing this as a family. If your kids are younger, I’d say make one and alter it as the kids get older, adding in components as you see fit. We do this at the workplace, on the field, in teams, in the classroom, it’s real world stuff, so why not establish this is your home as well? Kids love to know what to expect, you probably also appreciate when things are clearly stated and defined, so why not provide that for your family? Unclear can create an uneasiness, a slippery slope in my opinion. When we can refer to the standard we have established in our home, we all have a common goal, a unity around what it is we are aiming at. It’s what you make of it mamas, you’ve got one go at it. ~Make It Grow