"If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there"
- George Harrison
Sue and I are very new to this parenting gig, but we've been thinking and talking about being a family for the 10 years we've been together, practically from the first day we met. As we walk into this wonderful experience with our eyes wide open, knowing that there is so much we don't know, one of the things we do know from our lives in the tech industry is that in order to get somewhere, you have to have a goal in mind -- somewhere you want to end up.
From that perspective our Family Manifesto was born -- five simple main core values we want to raise our kids by. It's possible -- likely -- that these will change over time. But they allow us to put a stake in the ground with core principles that are important to us as we start this journey.
Our Family Manifesto:
- Respect is always a two-way street.
- Respect is given and earned and will always ring true with you, no matter your age or circumstances.
- We treat you as "people in small packages". We will communicate with you and speak to you and explain to you the reasons behind our thoughts.
- You may not always grasp the depth of our message but you will always grasp it to the depth of your knowledge. Every bit counts.
- We will say "yes" unless there is a meaningful and compelling reason for a "no".
- "Yes" means yes. "No" means no. "Maybe" means maybe, but if you keep asking, it's always a "no", never a "yes". If you go from one parent to the other to ask the same question for a different answer, it will definitely be a "no".
- We are mindful of the difference between consequence and punishment. We communicate and enforce consequences. We do not punish.
- We encourage communicating and sharing of everyone's thoughts and feelings.
- We do not get defensive.
- We do as we say, and say as we do.
- Gratitude is embedded in our every action.
- We celebrate individualism and self discovery.
- Our job, as parents, is not to tell you how the world is and how you fit within it, but rather to help you navigate and understand the world that you create for yourselves.
- Our family does things in our own way. That is special and cherished.
- We will set boundaries as a family and allow each of you to define yourselves within the family boundaries.
- We will not hover or crowd your every decision. We respect that each of you are individuals and celebrate your unique approach to self discovery.
- We prioritize our decisions.
- The needs of the family unit are prioritized first. Then come the needs of each family member. Then come our own needs. Family, siblings, self.
- We are citizens of the world.
- We are a United Nations family.
- We live and love cultures.
- We prioritize immersion in languages, places, and cultures different from our own.
- Be kind to yourself and to others.
- Treat others the way they want to be treated, not the way you want to be treated.
- We live meaningful, happy lives.
- We love ourselves and we are open to receive love from others. We love and appreciate our own brains, bodies, and souls.
- We support each other in times of joy and in need.
- We pursue our own passions and support the pursuit of passion of our family members.
- We work hard. "The harder I work, luckier I get."
- We play hard.
- We celebrate milestones, no matter how small or big.