Do you have a family vision statement? Or, have you heard of them?
I’m not sure that my family did until recently. But, I remembered a tool that I had learned back in college when I graduated with a degree in communication studies. Like a lot of people, you might be thinking: what does that degree even mean?! For starters, we study concepts like effective business communication. Business, you say? What does that have to do with Happily Ever Mom and YOU? Interestingly enough, one of my favorite parenting tips actually stems from a basic business tool…
So, back to my degree.
While I was in college, I learned a lot about business communication and, more specifically, vision statements.
Vision Statements vs. Mission Statements
Vision statements are different from mission statements (which you might be more familiar with) because vision statements are the broader “vision” of what you want your company to become.
And, I believe, these same principles can be applied to families as well.
We have a “vision” for how we want our kids to behave and act not only now, but also as adults. So, a vision statement seems like an amazing vessel to get our kids there.
But, how do you write one that works for a family?
Here’s the secret to writing a family vision statement…
Set up a few values or principles that are most important to your family. Look at these as broad categories that mean something significant to both action and behavior (Kindness, forgiveness, loving, etc.). Then, turn them into “we are” statements.
Note: I like to use “we are” because it includes everyone in the family, not just the kids.
Writing a Family Vision Statement
We are kind & respectful to ourselves and to each other.
We are supportive to ourselves and to each other.
We are forgiving to ourselves and to each other.
We are compassionate towards one another and to people outside of our family.
We are unique as individuals and as a family.
The key is that there’s a big difference between telling your kids “the rules” and having “guiding principles” that influence all of your behavior. You’re vision statement are your guiding principles for the rules/actions of your family members.
This is how to use a Family Vision Statement
When you see your kids hit each other, you can head back to your value statement and remind them: we are kind & respectful to each other – was it kind or respectful to hit your brother or sister? Believe it or not, that’s actually harder to argue with then an blanket statement like, “because it’s not okay to hit people.”
Or, when kids complain about going to a family event, you can remind them that we’re going because we are supportive of one another. Rather than, “because that’s what we have to do.”
More Family Vision Statement Tips
Each family is going to have a different vision statement, but you can use ours as a guide.
I find that keeping your vision statement between 4-5 concepts is easiest to remember.
AND, get your kids involved in this (depending on their age), so it has more meaning for them, too.
Do you think you’ll write a family vision statement? Come over to our Facebook page and tell us what you wrote!