Create (or buy) a family manifesto

I loved this post by Isabel Kallman detailing how and why she created a personalized set of Family Rules with her husband and son. Every word was carefully chosen and then typeset to perfection.  Here are instructions for how to create your own family mission statement and the Kallman version:

The Kallman Family Manifesto,  and how to write your own

Inspired by this exercise, I launched into my own project of creating a Family Manifesto that I could hang prominently in my home and point to whenever any of us were forgetting to use our kind words. I want a poster that makes me smile and reflects the ideas that are unique to our family.

The goal: Define 5 to 10 statements that make us happy

I wanted to begin with a blank slate and build upward like Isabel did with each member of my family adding a small, significant piece. Ha! As a passionate list-maker, I couldn’t do it. Instead, I created a list of over sixty awesome statements and presented them to my children for culling. The uber list was based on all the great tenets I picked up from others who had done this before.

The making of a family manifesto

Luckily, my big boy likes lists too so he wasn’t put off by this. Over the course of three days, Holden read the list to his brothers and they voted for ones they liked. It took that long because c’mon, the list is over 60 items.

He put tally marks next to ones that they each liked so the best possible score was three marks in this round. We voted on Sawyer’s behalf whenever it seemed obvious that he, as a toddler with strong opinions, would want to keep one in the running. So all kids love LEGO (easy) but only the toddler says “I love you” with any regularity.

The kids votes on our family mission statement

Interestingly, none of them voted for “Tell the truth” or “Be honest” in any of the various phrasings. In hindsight, I can understand why that’s a pretty lame one for kids, but I was surprised.

As if I haven’t embarrassed myself enough by sharing my list of nearly-seventy potential family truths, there’s more. My planned next step was to slash the list to about twenty top contenders then massage it with my husband before presenting it back to the children for their buy-in.

Can you tell I miss the normalcy of corporate decision making every so often? Yikes.

Or just buy one

Then again, I might just buy one off etsy! There are dozens of great looking already-designed pretty-good-words-to-live-by ready to go and waiting for a frame.

This set of family rules by BlueGreenBlue Design is customizable by color and the artist will add your family name for $20. Unfortunately for my children, it includes a nod to honesty and love.

Family rules by BlueGreenBlue Design

Another one I like is this personalized manifesto by Pera Press. Again, adding your surname is no extra charge. The whole thing is $26 with several color options. They’ll even let you add a few different rules for a little more $$.

Personalized Typography Print by Pera Press

Once you read this final etsy pick, you’ll see how I came up with sixty great ideas before even involving my family. At least, I’d like you to think that. The typography version of these family rules by SignsofVintage is $23.

Family Rules by SignsofVintage

At this point, I’m not completely sure if we will finish this project, but I will show you the final version if we do.

What would make the cut on your family manifesto? 

The following two tabs change content below.
RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.

Latest posts by Heather Flett (see all)