What comes to mind when you think of places like McDonald’s, Starbucks, or even Publix? Each business has a unique mission and their best practices are in line with their mission. The mission statement helps the business run smoothly and helps their employees work according to company standards.
In 2009 my husband and I walked down the aisle and became a family unit. While it is just the two of us I have been thinking a lot lately about our family values and having children, this led me to the idea of a family mission statement. How do we want to raise a child? What do we value as an individual and as a family?
What is a Family Mission Statement?
By thinking about your core values as a family unit you will have a better understanding of each person’s point of view and how they see the family. Discovering what you value takes time but once you have an idea of how you want your family to look (especially to others) writing a family mission statement becomes much easier.
“A family mission statement is a combined, unified expression from all family members of what your family is all about — what it is you really want to do and be — and the principles you choose to govern your family life.” -Stephen Covey
A family mission statement is your idea of the good life and shares your family’s purpose, goals, and standards.
The family mission statement is declaring how you want to live as a family and how you want to be remembered.
Family Mission Statement Meeting
To write your family mission statement all members of the family must be present. This allows each member to share their values and help write the mission statement. Even if you have small children they should be included in this family meeting. They are an integral part of your family and they may see your family in a different light than you.
One person should be in charge of taking notes and putting the family mission statement together. This person should be listening to each person and writing down core values and thoughts.
Your kids may say the craziest things like “our family loves hot chocolate!” However, this may have a deeper meaning where the child is remembering a time you spent together undistracted.
The mission statement doesn’t need to be written in one day. Each time you have a family meeting you can continue working on your family values until you all feel like you have enough written down to really showcase what your family is all about.
Questions to Ask at your Family Mission Statement Meeting
Asking questions will help open the lines of communication.
Here are some questions you may ask your spouse:
What is the purpose of our marriage?
How do we treat each other?
How can we both support each other’s goals?
How do we handle our finances?
What kind of parents do we want to be?
What family traditions do we want to keep?
What traditions do we want to create ourselves?
How do we give back to our community?
What principles do we want to teach our children?
Here are some questions you may ask your children:
What does the perfect family look like?
What kinds of things do we want to do as a family?
What kind of feeling do you want to have in our family?
What embarrasses you about our family?
What makes you want to come home?
What do we want to be remembered by?
What is truly important to us as a family?
What gifts and talents does each family member have?
What guidelines do we want our family to follow?
How can we contribute to our community?
Family Mission Statement: What does your family Value?
Family values are the qualities that are most important to your family; values include dedication, hard work, and kindness.
After you’ve held your family meetings and have listed everything that makes your family unique it is time to pull out the underlying values. These values are what make your family unique and will help mold your family mission statement.
Knowing your bigger values and dreams of your family will help craft a family mission statement with a purpose.
How do you want your family to be portrayed by your family and friends?
Respect for others
Kindness to others
Choice of language
Respect for the law
Education and knowledge
Abstinence before marriage
Dress and appearance
Quality time together
Craft your Family Mission Statement
It is time to discuss all of your values. You’ll want to try to minimize this list to about ten words or phrases.
Once you have narrowed your family values it is time to write the family mission statement. This can be difficult and will take time.
To help with writing the family mission statement you can assign each family member a few words to have them write phrases. Bring these ideas together and work them into your larger family mission statement.
Mission statements work best if they are kept short and memorable, try to keep it under 100 words if possible.
Together, the family should revise and edit the mission statement. It will take time to write and you’ll find yourself changing phrases and points to make the family mission statement feel right. The mission statement is a reflection of your family and much care should be put into it.
Share Your Family Mission Statement
It is time to make your family mission statement a staple in your home, I recommend having your family mission statement framed and placed in a prominent place in your home.
You will want to visit your mission statement often and ensure you are living your core family values.
A family mission is an important piece of your family identity. Most importantly, this mission statement with help hold you together and keep your family strong. Because you all share common values and goals you know exactly what you stand for and believe in.
Don’t be afraid to revise your family mission statement as your family grows or as your children grow older because your values may change over time and that is okay. Hold your family meeting again and work on your family values. You’ll want the family mission statement to remain a key component in your family.