Do you have a parenting mission statement?
Family psychologist and author, John Rosemond, thinks you should. In his syndicated column this week, he wrote, “Without a mission statement, people are likely to zig and zag all over the playing field, wasting lots of energy and time on things that are ultimately unimportant if not counterproductive.” He believes that in order to avoid the zigging and the zagging, parents should have mission statements that guide their parenting and help them focus on what’s important.
Rosemond says today’s parents have “short-term, tunnel vision” and waste time on things like “… taking children to and watching them in activities that will be completely irrelevant to anything they will be doing as adults.” Unlike our grandparents, he thinks we care too much about making sure our children are happy, and are not focused near enough on ensuring they are responsible adults.
I get what he’s saying. It’s our job to make sure they go out in the world prepared to fend for themselves and contribute to society. But mission statements? For goodness sake, do I really need to sit down and create a Powerpoint presentation on how I plan to manage my kids, with a vision, mission, objectives and strategies?
I visited MissionStatements.com to get some good examples of Fortune 500 company mission statements, and tried to use them to develop a couple of sample parenting ones, just in case you disagree with me and feel you need one.
CaremarkRX: We will be the premier health management solution provider, enabling individuals and plan sponsors to optimize their healthcare investment.
Parenting Mission Statement: I will be the premier provider of shelter, clothing, paper goods (Kleenex, toilet paper), withering looks, and snack cakes, enabling my children to wipe when necessary, optimize their behavior, and be patient until I’m done making dinner, dammit.
Dean Foods Corporation: The Company’s primary objective is to maximize long-term stockholder value, while adhering to the laws of the jurisdictions in which it operates and at all times observing the highest ethical standards.
Parenting Mission Statement: My primary objective is to maximize long-term childhood value while adhering to whatever sticky stuff the kids spilled on the floor and at all times observing their texts and Facebook pages.
Walt Disney World: The mission of The Walt Disney Company is to be one of the world’s leading producers and providers of entertainment and information. Using our portfolio of brands to differentiate our content, services and consumer products, we seek to develop the most creative, innovative and profitable entertainment experiences and related products in the world.
Parenting Mission Statement: I will be the world’s greatest provider of parenting. Using the eyes in the back of my head, my sixth sense, and my portfolio of warnings, I will seek to develop children who will stay in bed once I’ve put them there and know where their shoes are at all times.
I’m just having fun with this, of course. I have no plans to create a parenting mission statement, though I do try to make sure I’m focused on the things that will bring my children the most fruitful lives as adults.
What would your parenting mission statement be, or do you think the whole thing is silly?