Family Mottos with Meaning


Family mottos family values


In our 21st century lives, families are transforming daily.  Families are adding members, refashioning who is a family member and reinventing family structure.  Just how do we keep sharing our family values, inviting inclusiveness and minimizing destructive and hurtful conversations?  Having a family motto helps all your family define what’s important.


Family mottos not family bickering

It’s all too often we find ourselves saying, keep your hands to yourself and pick up your stuff. We can fashion that into a family motto that shares how we respect each other and take care of our belongings.  It’s more about how we treat each other that we want to convey to our family.

Here’s some family mottos “” from Real Simple that struck a chord with me.

“You always have a choice to make someone’s day better or worse. Choose wisely.” – Jessica

“You are capable of great things. That’s why I expect great things.” – Christi

“You become an average of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose wisely.” – Rory


How to build your family motto

Family meetings are an important part of your family life. During a meeting, it’s time to start the conversation. Remember, your motto is about the “we” of your family.  Focus on the positive outcome or best practice, instead of using don’t or shouldn’t. Start with your top 3 values that are authentic to your family.  Write these down together, post them where everyone can see, and refer to them frequently.  For more insights, check out the inspiration for this post.


Family mottos can be the glue for your family. It’s also what we want our family to remember when we need to be resilient.  Craft a meaningful motto at your next family meeting.


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4 replies
  1. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    This is an unusual idea to create a family motto. We’ve never done that officially. But we did and do believe in modeling the atmosphere that you want. So if you want your kids to respect you, you need to respect them. And if you want your kids to be loving, you need to be loving towards them and your partner. If you do or say something that upsets or offends another, be quick to apologize. We also always found that words like “please” and “thank you” are the grease that keeps the relationship wheels moving beautifully. I’m sure there are a lot more, but those are the ones that come to mind.

  2. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    We went to a weekend many years ago where each couple put together a family mission statement. We did an acronym, and my adult children still remember what it stood for. A motto is a simpler/more fun way to express who your family is. I love this idea! It is something you can say and share with each other… something that makes you feel included.

  3. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    @Seana – how fun to think about a family mission statement and that your kids remember it! We had family meetings and our kids have used this as a starting point for their own family dinner table topics. It’s so rewarding to think about how this simple work makes it’s way into our kids’ lives.

  4. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    @Linda – sounds like your “unofficial” family motto is Be respectful, be thoughtful and be polite. Your modeling always makes a difference as a parent.

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