With highly packed schedules for work and school in addition to a myriad of external commitments and other social activities, years pass by in the blink of an eye. A typical Singaporean family has a variety of activities and gatherings to attend, from music and swimming lessons to tuition classes – the list goes on.
As parents, we might have a clear idea as to why we choose certain activities over others. However, these motivations also need to be communicated to our children, which is why there is a need to come up with a family mission statement and vision.
A family mission statement and vision may sound contrived to some, but it is an effective way to keep the family focused on undertaking meaningful activities while setting the family up for a purposeful year ahead. Here are a few ways to get started:
Think like a visionary coach
As parents, we have to resist the urge to talk down to our kids. We can’t dictate a family mission statement to our children. We must communicate in an affirming manner like a visionary coach – one who has a clear idea of what she is aiming for with his or her team. This type of coach communicates his or her vision and owns it. This is where a mission statement can be really powerful.
How to write a family mission statement
Set a date for a family meeting. Write up “Family Mission Statement” on the agenda.
As a family, discuss what values you are going to live by and what character traits you aim to show.
The list of words below might be helpful:
- Celebrations are valued
- Community focused
- Creativity is valued
- Learning is valued
- Music is valued
- Time together
Brainstorm these questions as a family when coming up with your family vision and statement:
- What will the atmosphere or flavour of your home be?
- What do we hope our kids will treasure as memories when they grow up?
- What words would your family like to use to describe the relationships between family members and those outside your immediate family?
Then, organise the ideas and analyse the suggestions. Decide which ones gel best with the family and come up with a final draft of your family mission statement. The following statements might help.
Our family is about ___________.
We always value _____________________.
To those within our family, we will _______________________.
To those outside our family, we will ______________________.
A family mission statement will be a helpful reminder to the entire family throughout the year. It can influence the way we allocate our family’s resources, in terms of time, energy, finances, and the many talents and gifts that each of our family members has been blessed with. In this way, instead of mindlessly rushing from one activity to another and chasing individual goals, each year is spent meaningfully in ways that would draw the whole family closer together.
©2016 Focus on the Family Singapore. All rights reserved.
Article contributed by Elvira Tan, Focus on the Family Singapore