BismilLah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
This is the 2nd installment of the LifeParenting Series. The topic is on creating a Family Vision statement as a tool to help your family progress. It is necessary for everyone in the family to be involved in the development and changes that occur, even if it was initially meant to focus on changing the behavior of one particular child.
In Al Quran, Surah Al Baqarah, verse 148, ” To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) Towards all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you Together. For Allah Hath power over all things. “
Writing a Family Vision statement was one of the activities that participants of my parenting programs did together with their spouses. I can honestly say that 9 out of 10 couples differed in what they wanted for their family and that the one couple who shared the same Family Vision, didn’t need any parenting programs; their family’s foundation was already strong. It is no wonder that husbands and wives argue a lot; they don’t share the same values and principles that is necessary to build a strong family. The husband says’ getting top grades is important’ but the wife says ‘ as along as he is trying hard, it doesn’t matter what his grades are.’ A recipe for many disagreements in the future…
I realised because I had created a Family Vision and Mission statement at the beginning of implementing Khalifah Method in my home, and had the collective agreement of everyone to the terms of the statement, the positive changes that I hoped for to happen, came relatively more easily and quickly.
This is really down to the fact that everyone became a part of the vision. I took time to explain to Adam and Daniel, who were about 4 and 5 years old, what we were going to do and why we were doing it. I’d like to share a quote from Rudyard Kipling, from the Elephant’s Child, which relates to this.
I keep six honest serving men, (They taught me all I knew), Their names are What and Why and When, And How and Where and Who.
As I began the Shaping Process by creating boundaries, re-organising the boys’ daily routines and building a more Islamic environment in the home, the boys became active participants in the changes.
A vision statement says what the company wants to achieve. For example, Avon’s vision statement is, “To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women – globally.” If you look at Avon’s market share, it is global.
Your Family Vision statement should describe what your family wants to achieve, as a family, in the least possible words. Otherwise, it will turn out to be a mission statement instead!
My Family Vision statement is “To Achieve Excellence and Balance in Body, Mind and Soul.” It is important that the boys understood that in anything they do, it needs to be done excellently. I always remind them (my motivational nagging!), ‘If you have to do something, you might as well do it right.‘
I also encouraged the boys to be moderate in their wants and desires. In Al Quran, Surah Al An’am, verse 141, “…But waste not by excess: for God loveth not the wasters.” As they became older and my knowledge of Islam grew, we began expanding the scope of our boundaries and behavior to match as closely as possible the criterion given to us through Al Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad salla Allah alayhi wassalam.
This was the point at which I realised the enormity of Khalifah Method’s premise; that when an individual or group is given
- a positive, accurate and motivational worldview i.e Islam according to Al Quran and Sunnah
- a good understanding of the Laws of Learning
then, that individual or group will naturally move towards all that is good and right.
We were seeing positive changes in all of us. I was calmer and firmer with the boys; Adam was making conscious, logical decisions on his own and Daniel started having better self-control over himself, which meant the earth-shattering, ear-piercing temper tantrums were now at an end. Alhamdulillah!
Do sit down with your family and share with them your intention of building a stronger family. Brainstorm on your family’s vision and begin enjoying the process of understanding each other a little better once you discover their visions and ambitions.
To recap with brain rules # 5: Repeat to remember
- create a Family Vision statement
- ensure that everyone in the family participates in writing it up
- have the Family Vision fresh in your mind as you begin the Shaping Process
- have fun and begin enjoying growing with your family!
May Allah subhana wa ta’ala give you courage and strength throughout your journey as a LifeParent and khalifah. Ameen.