Do You Have a Parenting Mission Statement? Why Not?

Imagine that you are looking for a ride to Los Angeles. You meet someone who says that they have room in their car to give you a lift to California. “Exactly where in California are you going?” you ask.

“Oh, we’re not sure. Just somewhere in CA,” he responds.

“I need to get to LA,” you explain. “Are you going in that direction?”

When he answers, “I don’t know,” then you look elsewhere for a ride.

Obviously, you do not want to travel with someone who does not know where he is going! Similarly, would you want your child to be raised by people who are floating aimlessly through their children’s formative years?

It is highly recommended that you put your parenting goals in writing. We have mission statements for our charities, our businesses, and our volunteer groups. Why not a mission statements for your family?

One family decided upon the parenting goal, “We want our children to feel confident about their abilities and free to express their creativity.” They printed their mission statement on decorative paper and hung it on the refrigerator.

Several days later, Dad walked into the kitchen to see five-year-old Tami leaning over the kitchen sink spraying sudsy water over the counters and the floor. Repressing the reflex to react in anger to the wet mess, Dad noticed the parenting goal on the fridge. Calmly he asked, “What are you doing?”

“I’m washing the dishes!” Tami answered with a note of pride in her voice. “I’m helping to keep the kitchen clean!”

“What a great idea, that was really thoughtful of you,” Dad replied. “How about if I help you unclog the drain, so the water won’t overflow, and we get a stool for you, so you don’t need to sit on the counter?”

“Gee, thanks Daddy,” Tami said after they had cleaned the majority of the puddles. “Now I’m going to be able to wash the dishes even better next time!”

It was a result of this family’s goal that this father was able to redirect his initial reaction, and respond in a way that would help his daughter achieve her goal. Instead of leaving his daughter to feel guilty and embarrassed for her unsuccessful dishwashing endeavor, he was able to give Tami the appreciation and confidence in accordance with the family’s goal.

What’s your parenting mission statement?

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Comments

  1. Natalie Valles says:

    I can’t believe no one has posted here! What an idea!

    We haven’t made a parenting mission statement but maybe we could. We do however create a family plan. We draw it out on chart paper using the backwards planning method…seeing where do want to be and plan how to get there. Then we roll it up and put it away. Every now and then we pull it out to see how we are doing and when we accomplish all the goals, we do a new one! Plus, it’s fun to see what you have accomplished , and how much. Also, your vlaues change over time and you can note that with the MAP (Making Action Plans).

  2. I travel a lot in other people’s cars and I can tell you that if I know they are good people and don’t exactly know where they are going, I will get into the car and help them if they are going in the same general direction. If they want to go to California and I want to go to Los Angeles, even if we clarify on the way that they want to be in Sacramento, that still gets we a long way if we were starting from New York. But if I start out from somewhere southwest, it might not work. So the starting point matters as well. Moral of the story: you have to start where you are.

  3. I am a grandma and am very impressed with the way the father handled this situation. I don’t think I would have been so understanding myself. I wish I had a mission statement when my children were young. I am dtrying to do better now with my grandchildren, but all families could use a mission statement if it would help in situations like the one you described! Great idea!

  4. Yes I agree, I will request a family meeting this weekend and have a mission statement set up for our family. WOO HOO!!
    Love this site!!

    Kyla

  5. Amanda Wilson says:

    My “mission statement” for my children is from a verse from the Bible.
    “The goal of our instruction is LOVE from a pure heart, a GOOD conscience, and a sincere FAITH.” I try to remember that verse with every decision I make and aim my children towards loving and obeying God.

  6. My mission statement would be ” train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it ” (proverbs 22:6)

  7. “Understand your child” — Parenting Mission Statement