Family Foundation

The Family Foundation is the first tab in our Family Notebook.  It serves as the foundation for how you want your family and household to function.  We have there sections within this tab: the Mission Statement, Family Rules, and Reward Charts.

How Do Solid Foundations Form in Families?

Because every family is unique, there is no one right way to lay a solid foundation for a child’s life. Instead, each family will develop the method that works best for them. Even though everyone will build their family in their unique way, imbuing it with their own set of values and ideas, there are a few fundamental aspects of family basic development that the vast majority of families participate in.

Mission Statement

Just as corporations have mission statements that define their company, families can use mission statements to state their priorities.  You can then refer to it when making difficult decisions, or to overcome challenges.  If you’d like to, you can display it somewhere in your home.

The mission statement should be short, about 4-8 sentences.  When writing the statement, you should meet with your family (or just your spouse if your children are young) to define your values.  When we were writing ours, I tried to think back to advice that I had received about maintaining a strong family.  The important thing to remember is that the mission statement should be basic and simple.

You can find examples of family mission statements here:

Family Rules

Like the Mission Statement, your family rules should be simple and concise.  You do not have to be elaborate, detailed, or even completely thorough.  These may change as your family changes, which is great.  It would also be good to display these in the home, and refer to them frequently.  All the children in the house, of an appropriate age, should be able to state what the family rules are, and what they mean.

Our family has 4 rules: Tell the truth, practice integrity, don’t whine, and have a good attitude.  Our children know what these rules mean because we discuss them frequently.  We consistently enforce them, and our children understand that we take them very seriously.

Here are some ways to display the family rules in your house:

Wall Decal:

Picture frame:

Reward Chart

We started using a reward chart with our three year-old about a year ago, and it has been one of our most powerful parenting tools.  It helps us reinforce good behavior, and lets her learn to evaluate her own behavior.  We change the chart about every three months, depending on what we are trying to work on with her.  Every night we go over the chart before bed and she gets a smiley face in the box if she did well on that task.  It’s important not to be too lenient, so that the importance of earning a smiley face is compromised.  Of course, it’s also important not to be too strict because the goal is to make your children feel proud of their good behavior.

At the end of the week, we count how many smiley faces our daughter earned.  If she earned enough (we went with 42), she gets to pick somewhere for us to go that weekend.

Adjust this as to what works best for your family.  We have done a tier system with the weekly reward (the more smiley faces, the greater the reward at the end of the week), used stickers instead of smiley faces, and adjusted the number of good behaviors to reward.  Practice using this, and see what works best for your family.  Don’t forget to add it to your family notebook!

Here is our reward chart: Reward Chart

More Tips for Establishing a Prosperous Family Foundation

Be a Good Listener

When people feel as though they are not being heard by others, there is a significant risk that they will detach from the relationship. Because of this, one of the most important things to put your attention on is practicing active listening. 

Being present is not the same thing as actively listening to anything. It requires imagining yourself in the position of the other person and comprehending the reasons behind the significance of the information that they are divulging to you. You must provide each member of your family with your complete attention while you are conversing with them, and conversely. 

It is impolite to lecture or interrupt someone who is striving to communicate their thoughts and feelings. When they are through, you have the opportunity to pitch in with some words of guidance or support.

Spending Moments with Kids and Participating in Activities with Them

Because we live in a busy society, many parents do not have the opportunity to spend sufficient time with their children. This can hurt relationships between families. The majority of parents are under the impression that they do not spend enough quality time with their families and that they are missing out on important moments as a result of their commitments to work or other activities. It is of the utmost importance to construct a daily routine that allows for a sufficient amount of time to engage with one’s children. 

For example, helping one another out with schoolwork can be a great way to strengthen family bonds. It can also teach youngsters the value of perseverance and the importance of not giving up even when things appear to be challenging. Regular participation in athletics, hobbies, and other activities that provide quality time together as a family ought to become standard practice.

Even though achieving the objective may first appear to be challenging, all that is required is to organize one’s priorities and choose which activities can be placed on hold to better accommodate the dynamic of the family unit.

Make a Tradition for the Family

Families who are close to one another often have traditions and activities that they partake in together. These modest actions serve to differentiate the family from the rest of the world and foster a feeling of togetherness. Spending time together as a family can help to strengthen relationships. 

Spending time together as a family can help to strengthen relationships. A ritual can be created by doing something consistently, like going on an outing and having a picnic every other Saturday. These kinds of traditions are almost always eagerly anticipated not just because they are enjoyable activities but also because they remove the family from their typical routine. 

It is neither necessary nor required that a day trip with the family be difficult to plan or prohibitively expensive. A common concern among parents is that they are not making enough memories with their children. Getting out of the house and going to the park, for instance, is an easy way to accomplish this objective.

Improve Relationships Through Teamwork

This is arguably the most fundamental aspect of developing wholesome connections inside the family. Working together as a team improves communication, and it also gives each member of the family a sense of satisfaction regarding the value they bring to the table. Many different approaches can be taken to foster teamwork.

Performing chores together as a family, beginning a little garden as a family, obtaining a pet as a family, and making decisions as a family are all great examples. Even if a child’s participation is negligible at a young age, it is still highly vital for them to have the feeling that they are a part of the group. They will learn responsibility from their parents, as well as the valuable lesson that even the smallest amount of effort may contribute to the overall good. 

This guideline also involves a certain amount of autonomy and the provision that children be allowed to make their own choices. When confronted with a manageable challenge, children should be self-reliant and resourceful enough to find a solution to the issue. They ought to be aware that the family will be there to provide support and direction if they are unsuccessful.

Set a Good Example for Them

If you want your children to behave in a particular way, you are going to have to demonstrate those behaviors for them. Families that have solid foundations will decide on the actions and principles that they want to model for younger members of the family and will choose those based on the importance they attach to them. You can’t expect your children to behave respectfully, communicate clearly, or be involved in the lives of others if you’re not doing those things yourself.

Be Loving to One Another

Love, appreciation for one another, and mutual respect and admiration for one another are the foundations of a successful and healthy family. Even if you have been attached for many years, it is important to not take the other members of the family for granted. 

Things may shift suddenly, leaving you to lament the opportunities you’ve missed out on. If you sense that you are not currently contributing your full effort toward maintaining strong and healthy relationships within your family, it is time to start thinking about making some adjustments. Some of the adjustments are going to have quite uncomplicated an uncomplicated process, but they will have a significant effect.