3 Compelling Reasons to Create a Family Motto
If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you are familiar with the terrible, awful, no-good Lannister family. While the fictional family has few redeeming qualities, they do have one thing they share–a family motto:
“A Lannister always pays his debts.”
It is the one truth that binds them together as Lannisters– and the one bit of honor they hold to and repeat aloud as a statement of their greatest value.
Every family is a sum total of its personalities, habits and values. Put that all together and you create a miniature culture–unique to your family and your family alone. (Let’s hope you have more redeeming qualities than the Lannisters!)
Consider this question:
What is one character quality your family values and does better than all the others?
Your answer will probably lead you to a compelling theme on which to base your motto.
In the Moms on Call toddler book, they recommend using family mottos as a teaching tool for your children at ‘key moments.’ This would be at bedtime or during moments of decision or discipline.
For example, let’s just say my husand and I chose the character trait of honesty for our family and then caught our daughter lying. This would be a prime opportunity to reaffirm our family motto.
The conversation could go something like this:
“I understand why you are scared to tell the truth. But you are a Najera- and Najera’s always tell the truth.”
Or let’s say we chose perseverance. Every time a difficult situation arose where our daughter wanted to give up, we could say something like:
“I know this is really hard and you want to quit, but you are a Najera and Najeras NEVER give up.”
Creating a family motto does 3 important things:
- First, it narrows your focus as parents, which will help set a family tone.
- Second, by repeating your last name, it connects your child to one thing you all share.
- Third, it creates a platform on which to build all other key life lessons.
My husband and I haven’t agreed upon one yet, but it’s something I plan to consider as our daughter gets older!
Care to share your ideas, experiences or mottos? Leave a comment below!