It seems that we are all on a mission in life, but many of us don’t really know what that mission really is. That is not a critical statement, just an observation. I know this because I sometimes find myself asking the question that we all ask at one time or another, “What the heck am I doing here.”
If you are like me you have likely asked this question more than once while dancing through the fog of child rearing. I have actually wondered what it would be like if parents made a mission statement much like businesses, organizations, and even bloggers do to help focus and measure their direction.
I thought I would look around on the blogosphere and see if their was anyone else thinking about this and I found a wonderful description of why a mission statement for this purpose can make sense. This link will get you to the blog that the quote that follows is taken from. (I haven’t discovered yet how to create a clip that links back to the original blog. If any of you techies out there feel like doing your random act of kindness for today you could drop me a note about how it is done.) http://mirajyoga.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/3-steps-to-discovering-your-lifes-mission/
“Your mission statement is there to give your actions a certain intention–an intention that emerged from a state of awareness and consciousness. We know that we often act out of conditioned and learned behaviors and patterns that aren’t necessarily aligned with what we’re really about.”
That sounds familiar. You wake up one day and wonder which day it was that you turned into your mother. Your thoughts spinning with “What did I just do? My mother used to do that to me and I hated it.” But really, what else do you know to do? As they say in the military, when you are in a crisis, you fall back on your training. For some of us that may not be in line with the direction we want to take with our children.
Most mission statements contain a goal as well as statements the guiding principles you will follow to get there. So it seems that identifying your goal is the first step. So you might say your mission is to raise responsible, loving children (or whatever your goal is). Then you might say, through establishing appropriate boundaries, engaging with my children throughout the day, and showing that I love them even when we disagree.
But here comes the hard part, how are we going to accomplish this? Kids don’t come with manuals and parents don’t always come with full toolboxes. The funny thing is that the act of writing this down often begins the process of opening the path to discovering tools that can be helpful to accomplish your goal. Once you have written down the idea that you want to establish, for example, appropriate boundaries, it becomes easy to start out on a journey to find new ways to do this. You can start right here on WordPress. Two wonderful resources that I have found here are Help4YourFamily http://help4yourfamily.com/2012/11/19/parent-affirmation-monday-empathic-11172012/ and Let Life In Practices http://letlifeinpractices.com/2012/04/16/9-ways-to-tell-your-children-that-you-love-them/#more-568 .
What little jewel of a technique, practice, or attitude have you found (and where did you find them) that has made a difference for your children, or for that matter any of your relationships? Do share because I still have plenty of room in my toolbox to fill.