Back when I would say goodbye and wish my son, John, a great day at school in the early elementary years, I felt like I needed something more to set the tone for his day. He was going through a phase of “Why do I have to go to school?” and all the reasons I would give him were falling on deaf ears. So instead of trying to convince him how doing well now would set him up for success in his later career or making friends was an important social skill, a new morning ritual was born. I asked him what our Family Mantra was and he had to tell me before he left.
“Word hard, act nice.” Short, sweet, to the point. After discussing it with my husband, Rob, I felt like that covered all the bases, was easy to remember, and was what his father, Rob, and I tried to display in our actions every day. For years after that as I sent him off to school, I would tell John I loved him, to have a great day and then ask him, “What’s the Black Mantra?” And he would say proudly, “Work hard, act nice.” As he got older, he would occasionally try to leave without saying it, rushing out our front door. I would then either start running after him (he took the bus, so at this time of day, I was still in my pajamas) or tell the neighborhood loudly all the reasons why I loved my child. “Jeez, Mom! Stop! We work hard and act nice! There, I said it! You know people can SEE you, right?”
Why is a Family Mantra so important? What does it do for your child over time?
Your Family Mantra:
- Gives your child the family identity you want them to have
- Guides their character when they are unsure what to do
- Helps you to raise a kind, confident kid
So what should YOUR family’s mantra be?
Sit down with your family and ask them. Who are we at our best? How do you want people to think of you when you aren’t around? What do we do when tested? Write them all down, then brainstorm a few words that when condensed, say it all about who you are. Good character is not formed in one moment or even one year. It is created little by little, day by day, with thoughtful practice and repeated exposure. A great Family Mantra is like a meditation, a road map, and a wish for your child’s future, all wrapped up in a jacket that protects your child from the cold when they aren’t at home.
Just as manners are a shield for my son when I am not around to protect him, the Black Family Mantra is his compass for Life. Out of all the things I have given my child, this is the one I am most proud of. Well, that and the image of his mother running after him to the bus stop. Love and the need to hear their family mantra can make a mom do crazy things.
Sunrise Montessori Preschool has two locations in Round Rock. Interested in learning first hand what we can offer your child? Then book a tour on our website at Sunrise-Montessori.com or call us so you can discover why Sunrise Montessori Preschool is where YOUR family belongs!