Those four simple words represent our family motto. Do you have one? Let me tell you why we do.
All parents want their kids to be happy, healthy, successful (whatever that means), and loved. If only wanting made things so, parenting would be so easy. The reality is that parenting is hard! There are so many lessons we have to teach our kids; so many things we want them to know that sometimes it feels like all we do is talk at them about their choices and actions. We hope that all of these lessons stick but often we’re unsure. Have we done enough to prepare our kids for the real world? What kind of choices will they make as they gain independence and don’t come to us to help them solve all their problems?
The family motto to the rescue! Our kids know that we expect them to live their lives with our family motto as their guiding principle. When they are faced with a decision about what to do, we suggest they lean on these words to see where they direct them.
Is it kind to…
- exclude people?
- help someone who is struggling?
- throw garbage on the ground?
- pick up after yourself?
- keep everything for yourself?
- share what you have?
- not keep a secret?
I love how if each of these situations is thought of in terms of being kind, the solution presents itself quite easily.
Is it brave to…
- follow the crowd when you know what they are doing is wrong?
- go outside your comfort zone?
- pick on others?
- wear the clothes you like regardless of what others think?
- smoke, drink or do drugs?
- say no when everyone expects you say yes?
Being brave can be challenging but it is about doing the things you don’t think you can do!
Are you being curious when you…
- do the minimum amount of work you can to get by?
- don’t try new things?
- make new friends?
- don’t listen to someone else’s point of view?
- take a new class?
- insist that you are right?
- ask someone what they think?
Bring curious is how you expand your horizons. That can mean opening your mind, learning more about your world or getting to know people better.
I’m not naive enough to think that just thinking about these 3 words will be ebough to solve any problem. What I do think is that they can be a guiding compass when the going gets tough.
When I think about what I want my kids to be when they grow up, these are the words that come to mind. If they live their lives being kind, brave and curious, I believe everything else will fall into place.
What is (or would be) your family motto?