What You and the Lannisters Have in Common

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!