Monday, March 9, 2015

What We Stand For

A couple years back my mom suggested that I watch a Ted Talk about families.  She wanted to show me that a lot of the things that I was doing were right and to keep going.  But let’s be honest there was probably some hidden pointers in there too. :)  Thanks Mom!   I did find some helpful pointers and was motivated to keep on trying!  One of the things that Bruce Feiler mentions is to come up with and post a family mission statement.  In my stubbornness I made excuses for this advice...”We have House Rules posted (oooo blog post to come), that’s good.”  Or “We’ve talked about what we stand for that’s good enough, we don’t have time to do this and I don’t want to worry about how posting it...we know already.”  Well, my heart finally softened when two things happened not only did Bruce talk about it in his video but many posts I read about successful families said that they had mission statements.  The other thing that was happening in our home with more consistency was fighting.  I thought if we all discussed how we wanted to feel at home and how we wanted others to treat us then they might get on board with this idea of treating each other nicely.   So we...
  • Held a Family Meeting: Or rather put it on the agenda for our weekly Family Meeting
  • Discussed things that we wanted in our home
  • I made a list of all ideas including the have a horse comments
  • Then later compiled them into an organized mission statement
  • I let everyone listen to what I came up with and make any changes they thought
  • I have a friend whose sister does vinyl lettering and I had her cut out our mission statement
  • I had an old cupboard that had layers of paint on it, I sanded down sections of the cupboard to show parts of the old coloring to give the cupboard an antiqued look and then I put my vinyl lettering on it.  I’ve got some more antiquing ideas to come from some future projects.
Casey Family Mission Statement Display
Here are some highlights from the video.  It is a good one check it out...
1.) "Adapt all the Time:”
-Move "family dinner,”  if you don’t have time to have family dinner at dinner time.  Spend that time together in the morning or just before bed.  There is only about 10 minutes of productive family time at dinner, it is needed, but just move it to another part of the day if necessary.  Remain open minded, make things flexible and work for the different stages of your lives.

2.) "Empower our children:  Enlist the children in their own upbringing”

 -Practice being independent.  Plan their own goals, set weekly schedules and build up their own work habits, succeed and fail on their own terms.  If they are responsible now then they can learn to have confidence in their choices later.  Let them make the mistakes while they are young and the consequences are busting 5$ worth of allowance rather then a 3,000$ tax return.  Help them make a checklist of their responsibilities so they can be responsible for themselves.  I will post our checklists in a future post.

Hold family meetings and enlist their help in the running of the family.  When we feel we have a say in something we feel we are more a part of any problems and therefore also the solutions.

3.) "Tell your story."
-Adapting is good but we also need “bedrock.”  We need to preserve the core and define a mission.  Create a family mission statement include what is important to your family and what values you uphold.
-Worry less about what you do wrong and worry more about what you do right.
-Tell your children where you came from.  Kid who know where they come from have higher self esteem and a greater sense of control.  It is research based knowledge that they have better emotional health.

Words of Encouragement from Feiler:
You do not need a grand plan you need small steps to progress.
Secrets to a happy family is to keep trying.
Happiness is not something that we have to search for.  It is something that is already there that we need to learn to see (Feiler, 2013).

I love having our family mission statement posted.  It does help in times of trial especially when we aren’t getting along to remember how we want to feel in our home.  I like to refer back to it and let the kids see where they are making mistakes and see where they can improve on the terms they set.

Feiler, Bruce. (2013) Agile Programming - for your family. TEDSalon NY2013. retrieved from


  1. Thanks for sharing, I was looking for the horse part in the family mission, and found it with pets. Thanks for putting up with our pet. Love you, Cathy

    1. Hah! In interest of the length of our Mission Statement I did condense all the animal listings to Pets! :) I thought about including the list vs. the final product...It was fun to organize! Thanks, Love you too! PS I barely notice Piney visiting!