by Lynne Kenney
PsyD The Family Coach, author of The Family Coach Method
Extraordinary…boy, isn’t that a nice word? Beyond the ordinary…transcending the mundane….unexpected and astonishing.
Is this possible? you ask.
Designing your Extraordinary Family begins with establishing a firm foundation made up of Your Family Mission, Values, and Rules, or rather, who you want to be as a family, what is important to you, and how you demonstrate the latter through your choices.
Mission: Your mission describes the kind of family you wish to be. A mission statement is a guiding light, a symbol of where you want to aim your family over a lifetime. It is not meant to be carved in stone, forever and ever the same, so you shouldn’t be too concerned about creating a “document for the ages.” It may change as your children grow; it can be flexible and shift with you over time.
Values: Your behavior is the outside representation of what you value. Whether conservative or liberal, religious or agnostic, multi-cultural or uni-cultural, you have values that you live by every day. I generally think of values as nouns, often single words that say a lot: integrity, honesty, responsibility, education, athleticism, kindness and respect. I imagine you are teaching your children values each day.
Rules: A young child’s world is usually quite rule-bound outside of the home environment. They learn as three-year-olds that there are rules in the sandbox. At four, five and up, they encounter rules in the classroom. These experiences beyond the home make children ripe for learning consistency and expectations within the family culture.
Everything else that happens in your family life rests on this sturdy foundation, which all family members have contributed to and know. Once your foundation is a reality, you may find yourself referring to it to remind your children why certain behaviors are not “who we are as a family.” That can be very powerful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Lynne Kenney is a mom, pediatric psychologist and author of The Family Coach Method. An avid writer, blogger and media producer she develops custom branded digital media content for moms. A familiar face on television for over 11 years, Lynne appears as a resident expert on Sonoran Living ABC 15. Lynne also hosts The Family Coach Solution Studio on BlogTalk Radio. Her Better Living Content has appeared on ABC, the Montel Williams Show, and various child/family websites (including Ladies Home Journal and Better Homes and Gardens). Dr. Kenney is a consultant to The International Nanny Association and The National Head Start Association, for whom she was National Ambassador, 2007. Find more at www.lynnekenney.com.