Parents, ourselves included, have very strong ideas of what we want our children to grow up to be like. We thought it would be a good idea to actually write it down so we can keep perspective and our goals at the front of our minds so that when we engage in reflection we can compare our actions with our ideals to ensure they are lining up.
We have put much thought into our Family Mission Statement and it follows:
1.) We are a team working to keep our home peaceful and clean.
The Southerland Family is a cohesive team working together for the common goal of living in a clean, organized home with a jovial, peaceful atmosphere. Each member will work to clean an assigned area, on a rotating basis so that by the time our children are grown each will be competent in home keeping skills. These include cleaning and maintenance of home and vehicles as well as cooking and maintenance of cooking equipment. Ideally, each member will display an attitude of cheer when working, although we recognize that a cheerful attitude isn’t always possible or realistic.
2.) Discipline means to teach, not punish.
Our home is a place where discipline means to teach and not revenge. We are committed to using discipline techniques that don’t rely on shame and our children fearing us or our actions. We are committed to building a trusting relationship with our kids and are dedicated to teaching them our expectations before they need to meet them.
3.) We will be well educated and engage is entrepreneurship.
Next, our family will consist of well educated, dignified people. Educated is a multifaceted idea. First, educated means literate, especially fiction, science, math, and social sciences. Also, experience is a cornerstone in our homeschool. Education without experience is merely a shadow of knowledge. Business will also play a central role in our homeschool. Each of our children will own a thriving small business by graduation so that they may choose to focus on growing their business or if they choose to attend college they will have an income stream to support themselves.
4.) We will have strong character and dignity.
Dignity is an important trait that is hard to define and harder to teach, but we are committed to doing both. We define dignity as a love of cleanliness and work, kindness, the drive to help, pride, steadfastness (not stubbornness), perseverance, honesty, empathy, and general good character.
5.) We want our children to be close to us while encouraging independence.
We endeavor to raise children who see each other as friends, who want to spend time with us as adults, who seek our council unafraid to debate, and value our advice even if they don’t heed it. We want our children to remember their childhood in fond terms and to know that we always choose time and experience with them over money or things. We want them to remember that we kept our promises and made every effort to safeguard their physical and mental health. At the same time, we want our kids to have their own interests, friends outside the family, and to know they can accomplish great things independently.